5 Reasons Why Second-Hand Tyres May Not Be a Good Purchase

by Manase Tsebe on January 30, 2023

Some motorists may prioritise affordability over safety when purchasing second-hand tyres, which can pose a risk to their safety and the safety of others on the road.

While second-hand tyres may be more affordable, they may not meet the same safety standards as new tyres and may have reduced lifespan due to wear and tear. This can lead to increased risks of tyre failure, loss of control, and accidents on the road.

It's important for drivers to prioritize their safety by investing in high-quality, reliable tyres that meet safety standards and are installed and maintained properly. This can help ensure a safe and comfortable driving experience for all road users.

There are several reasons why buying second-hand tyres may not be a good purchase in South Africa: 

Safety risk due to wornout treads

Tyre blowout in south africa
Image: Arrive Alive

Second-hand tyres may have worn out treads, damaged sidewalls, or punctures which can pose a safety risk to drivers. New tyres provide improved safety, better handling and braking, and a reduced risk of punctures and blowouts. 

With brand new tyres, you get a better driving experience as they provide a smoother, quieter ride, improving the overall driving experience.

  1. Wear and Tear: Second-hand tyres may have already experienced significant wear and tear, reducing their tread depth and increasing the risk of a blowout or other tyre failure.

  2. Age: Tyres deteriorate over time, even if they have not been used. Older tyres may become brittle and prone to failure.

  3. Structural Damage: Second-hand tyres may have been subject to structural damage, such as cuts or punctures, which can weaken the tyre and increase the risk of a blowout.

  4. Uneven Wear: Tyres that have been poorly maintained or driven on uneven surfaces may exhibit uneven wear, which can reduce their stability and handling.

  5. Regulatory Compliance: Second-hand tyres may not meet current safety standards and regulations, putting motorists at risk.

Frequent Replacement due to Short Life Span

Compromised tyres lead to frequent replacements

Used tyres may have limited lifespan and may not perform as well as new tyres, leading to frequent replacements. Tyres deteriorate over time, even if they have not been used. Older tyres may become brittle and prone to failure, reducing their lifespan.

New tyres are made to the highest standards, ensuring reliable performance and durability. Additional advantage brand new tyres have over second hand tyres is they improve fuel efficiency, saving money on fuel costs over time.


Legal issues

In South Africa, buying second-hand tyres is not illegal in and of itself. However, there are certain situations in which buying second-hand tyres could be considered illegal, including:

  1. Purchasing Stolen Tyres: If a buyer knowingly purchases tyres that have been stolen, they could be charged with a criminal offense.

  2. Buying Tyres That Are Not Roadworthy: If a buyer purchases second-hand tyres that do not meet the minimum safety standards set out in the National Road Traffic Act, they could be charged with a criminal offense.


Unknown history

The history of second-hand tyres is often unknown, making it difficult to determine if they have been involved in an accident or if they have been subjected to extreme road conditions.


No Warranty on Second-hand Tyres

In South Africa, second-hand tyres are generally sold "as is," without a warranty. This means that if the tyre fails or does not meet the buyer's expectations, the seller is not obligated to provide any compensation or replacement.

New tyres, on the other hand, often come with a manufacturer's warranty, which covers defects and other issues that may arise during normal use. This can provide buyers with peace of mind and protection against unexpected costs.

It's important to carefully inspect any second-hand tyres before purchasing them and to ask questions about their history and previous use. Additionally, it's important to have second-hand tyres installed and balanced by a professional tyre fitter to ensure that they are safe and will perform properly.