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Road Users

Part-worn tyres

The laws on part-worn tyres, roadworthiness testing, questions to ask if buying part-worn tyres. 

This content is for general information only. It does not, and is not intended to, provide legal or technical advice or to represent a legal interpretation of the matters it addresses.

Frequently asked questions

Part worn tyres are tyres which were previously fitted to a vehicle and are now being offered for sale as ‘second-hand, part-worn or budget tyres’ with less tread remaining than that of a new tyre.
There is no specific regulation governing the use of part-worn tyres however under S.I. No. 5 of 2003 of the Road Traffic Construction and Use of Vehicles Regulations 2003 it is an offence to drive with defective or worn tyres. Enforcement of these regulations is a matter for An Garda Síochána and a fine, prison sentence or both can be imposed on both owner and driver on conviction
All tyres will be inspected for tread depth, condition, load capacity, specification and the presence of European type approval ‘E’ or e- mark.
No. However we do not recommend this for safety reasons. If purchasing second-hand tyres it is very important to assess the tyre(s) overall condition and to be vigilant for tyre defects such as sidewall tear, bulges, exposed plies, and if the tyre had any previous puncture repairs etc. Tyres must have a tread depth of not less than 1.6 mm. Please note that most part worn tyres are false economy as a new tyre can work out cheaper per usable tread.
The minimum permitted legal tyre tread depth on all tyres is 1.6 mm. For safety reasons it is recommended that any part-worn tyre you buy has at least 3.0-mm tread depth. Most new tyres have 8.0 mm.

The seller should confirm that:

  • the tyre has undergone a condition check including when it is inflated to make sure it meets the minimum legal requirements and is free from defects both internally and externally.
  • the tyre is the correct size and design for your vehicle, check with manufacturer or owner’s manual if you are unsure of tyre type.
  • the tyre has the correct load and speed rating for its intended use.
  • the age of the second-hand tyre (serial number on the tyre sidewall e.g., 1411 = week 14 of 2011).