Tradespeople and the self-employed should avoid trying to save money by fitting part-worn tyres to their vans, according to ATS Euromaster.

The tyre and maintenance company said that although selling part-worn tyres was not illegal, there was no governance over their quality, or whether they had gone through any sort of internal structural trauma even if they appeared outwardly to be good value.

ATS category manager Lois Harvey said: “We have recently seen plenty of part-worn tyre traders popping up, no doubt seeing the chance to offer apparent value as the cost-of-living crisis continues to grip the UK. But you have no guarantee over the veracity of the tyres being retailed and whether they are safe. It is a false economy for the trades and small businesses to think they are getting a bargain.

“I would also advise that they need to consider their duty of care to other motorists and road users. Under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, as a tradesperson whether self-employed or as a one-person limited company, you are responsible for the safety of your vehicle at work. 

“If you are found guilty of a breach – such as causing an accident where part-worn tyres were identified as the culprit – the fines can be unlimited and there is also the possibility of imprisonment.”

According to ATS, many part-worn tyres are sourced from Germany where compulsory winter tyres must have a minimum tread of 3mm. Others are said to come from salvage, or scrap merchants that deal with old cars and write-offs and sell the tyres to make extra cash.

Harvey said: “We know that many people are under pressure to cut costs and find savings at this time. But tyres are the only contact your vehicle has with the road surface, providing grip, stability and stopping power. These factors should not be open for compromise.

“If your van needs new tyres, a budget tyre option is more preferable than a part-worn if you really cannot afford it, but the best available for your van would be an all-seasons tyre from a reputable manufacturer.”