There is concern that as vehicle tyres age they may develop hidden defects and potentially deteriorate to an unsafe condition.
The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) recently announced that if their inspectors find a tyre more than 10 years old as part of their routine heavy vehicle enforcement work, they will carry out follow-up investigations on the vehicle operator. Also if the operator cannot give an adequate explanation for using an old tyre, or their tyre management systems are not up to standard, the DVSA may refer them to the Office of the Traffic Commissioner for potential regulatory action
In 2013 the Department for Transport (DfT) issued guidance to all operators setting out that tyres that have reached the age of 10 years should not be used on a steering axle, and stipulating strict conditions if they’re to be used at all. In 2018 the DfT began a research project looking at older tyres, which is due to report in spring.
The DVSA’s guidance on maintaining roadworthiness for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) and public service vehicles (PSVs) can be found on the Gov.uk website at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guide-to-maintaining-roadworthiness