Should You Ever Buy Used Tyres?
Posted by: Lydia on 20/12/2018
When it comes to buying car parts, there are two key goals: one, to get a quality product that does the job properly, and two, to get value for money.
It’s no secret that it can be hard to meet both of these goals if your budget is tight, so it's no surprise that many Aussies readily consider buying used cars, car parts, and tyres.
While obviously plenty of people drive used cars, and used car parts are sold every day, what about used tyres? Are they safe, or should you never buy them? Here's a closer look.
Used is not useless
Any driver considering buying used tyres should keep in mind that the world of used tyres is big and diverse. Just as there are used cars for sale with varying degrees of wear and tear, every set of used tyres must be judged individually on its quality.
You should make sure to factor in not only the condition of the tyres, but also the purpose for which they were intended. For example, if you're looking at some used performance tyres, usually any major wear and tear should be easy to spot because of their smaller profile and design that is intended for use on smooth urban roads and racing tracks.
It’s different when it comes to a set of off-road tyres. Buying a used set of 4WD runners will require a really in-depth examination to ensure there is no hard-to-see wear and tear that was acquired while the tyres were getting put through their paces on a trail.
The old adage ‘better safe than sorry’ really is the golden rule here. If you come across any used tyres that you have concerns about and don’t feel would be safe, then it’s always best to move on to other options. After all, there are plenty of tyres out there in the world, and some exciting new ones just around the corner.
What’s old is new again
It's important to keep in mind that many tyres that are sold as used can be really close to brand-new. There are many reasons why a set of tyres that's in mint condition might end up in the used section. For example, somebody buying a new car in the showroom may have brand loyalty to a particular tyre, and so the demo set is swapped out before the sale.
Other times, a business with fleet vehicles may swap their tyre brands, seeing a lot of sets that are otherwise good sent to the used section. Then there’s the more common reason – some people simply buy and then decide for whatever reason the tyres aren't the best fit for their vehicle. Buying used tyres in situations like these can be a good way to get quality and value for money.
Buying used tyres with peace of mind
Used tyres will come with some wear and tear, but they should also be 100% safe to use. Under Australian law, anything sold has to be in good working condition unless otherwise advertised. Just as you see many cars sold ‘for parts only’, you can buy used tyres with peace of mind knowing they are totally fine to use with your car.
That's why it's important to buy used tyres from a reputable dealer. When you buy used tyres from a private seller, it can be really hard to guarantee the tyres are safe – and genuine. It’s an unfortunate reality that making fake tyres is a very profitable business. In Europe alone, it’s estimated EUR2.4 billion (AUD $3.78 billion) is lost each year due to fake tyres and batteries.
This is bad news for the whole industry, but especially for drivers. Genuine tyre makers and sellers will always have to go through a number of regulations and processes to ensure the tyres drivers use are safe. Fake tyres don’t go through this process at all, and are a big risk.
While in this day and age of online retail it can be tempting to buy if you see a bargain price on used tyres, it’s impossible to know for sure if the tyres are real, how they were made, and how long they will last. That’s why whenever you’re buying tyres (used or new) it’s important to buy only from a trusted, reputable business.
You can always find a use for used tyres
Sometimes drivers may hesitate to buy used tyres because they wonder whether they'll like the set once they've purchased them. Realistically, unless you're driving a Formula One car around the Melbourne Grand Prix track, it's unlikely you'll notice any major difference between a new and used set of tyres on your daily drive.
In the event you don’t like using the tyres anymore, you can buy a new set but keep the used ones as spares. If you really don’t like them, you can always look to sell them to a tyre recycler, or even use them around the home and garage.
The best of both worlds
One of the best ways to decide whether you could use a set of used tyres is to browse around while looking for your next set of new tyres. Many drivers like to keep a backup set of tyres in their garage, and since used tyres are already discounted, it’s possible to pick up a real bargain.
Browsing through used tyres while looking for a brand-new set will help you decide if used tyres could ever be a good fit for your needs. It's also totally fine if you're a car fan who just adores the look and smell of a brand-new set of black treads. The world of cars is a big one, and there’s enough room for new and used tyres alike.
What’s been your experience with buying used tyres? Let us know in the comments below: