Struggling consumers opt for second-hand tyres, experts warn of insurance risk

Demand for second-hand and retread tyres has increased in recent weeks due to flooding and heavy rainfall that cause more damage to road networks.

Tyre repair businesses say most consumers have shifted to second-hand tyres due to damage by poor roads and potholes.

Motor analysts say consumers are struggling to afford new tyres because they are expensive and other costs of vehicle maintenance have also increased.

Tshepo Dube is owner of Kidoo Road Assist. He offers tyre breakdown services for motorists in distress.  He says many motorists cannot afford new tyres and he has seen an increase in the demand for second-hand tyres.

“Mostly we do tyre services, breakdowns, tyre bursts, new and second-hand tyres. After lockdown we started experiencing phone calls from small cars.  So, you ask a client if they want new tyres or second-hand tyres. New tyres are quite expensive even if you go to these new outlets.”

But there are risks. Chairperson of Tyre Equipment Parts Association (TEPA), Les Richardson, says there are many dangers in buying second-hand tyres.  He says they have noted an increase in retail shops selling second-hand tyres.

“I really want to ask the public to think twice before buying second-hand tyres next to a road or without an invoice. You have no way of knowing where the tyres are coming from, how long they have been standing there exposed to elements.  Some dealers have been known to be selling snow tyres, which may be illegal for your car. The legal limit of a tyre is 1.5 mm and if you buy for example a tyre of 3 mm of thread remaining, are you really getting such a bargain.” analyst, Ciro De Siena says “With the rising cost of living there is pressure on households to try and save money and one of the areas they might potentially cut back on is pushing the replacement time of their tyres. And you could find yourself in a situation where your tyres are not only dangerous but technically illegal. And you can get fined if the tyre thread is tyre wear indicator and if you’re in accident your insurance might reject your claim if they deem your tyre to be unroadworthy. It is important to stay on top of tyre maintenance. The tyre wear indicator is the horizontal bar that you find between the thread pattern demarcated a few times on the tyre.”

Siena says consumers also need to keep an eye on the age of the used tyre.

Tyres have a warranty of five years and anything older than that could have an impact on insurance payouts.

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Source: SABC News (