Second-hand tyres put lives at risk, councils warn
Drivers should beware of buying cheap and dangerous second-hand tyres, the Local Government Association has said.
Figures suggest that 4.5 million part-worn tyres are sold in the UK every year.
In some areas more than 80% are sold illegally, many with serious safety defects, according to council Trading Standards' teams.
The LGA said irresponsible traders were "putting lives at serious risk".
Part-worn tyres are being sold with unsafe repairs and incorrect labelling, council Trading Standards teams reported.
In 2015, there were 16 deaths and 908 road casualties that involved illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres, according to government figures.
Durham County Council officers found that just one of the 39 tyres they checked at various traders bore the required "part-worn" tyre marking, with 25 tyres having problems that could impair safety.
Ten tyres had unsafe repairs, nine were over 10 years old and one was 23 years old.
The LGA is urging motorists buying second-hand tyres to check that they bear the required "part-worn" marking, which lets drivers know that the tyre has been checked and meets legal requirements.
Simon Blackburn, chairman of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: "Cheap part-worn tyres might be tempting to buy but if they don't have the correct legal markings, motorists risk buying illegal tyres which could contribute to a major accident."
Mr Blackburn advised motorists to go to a reputable trader and check tyres for the "part-worn" stamp, as well as any cracks, tears and lumps.
He also said drivers should check the state of the tread before buying a tyre.
He added: "New tyres are available to suit all budgets, provide a safer option and should last longer, meaning they may offer better value for money in the long term."