Many motorists debate over whether it’s a good idea to buy used tyres or not. Secondhand tyres are certainly less expensive. But, tyres play a significant role in bringing the best performance out of your vehicle. So, if you are thinking of giving used tyres a shot, you should be well informed.


  • Cheap. Comes in handy at a moment when on a limited budget or at a remote location without new tyre options. However, unseen risk could cost you a fortune.
  • Mitigation of waste. Resell of used tyres prevent aggregate waste and strain to the ecosystem.


  • Used tyres are costly in the long run as they tend to yield low uninterrupted service life. And will have to be replaced much sooner than new ones.
  • Hard to identify risks. Apart from the visible tread wear, used tyres could have other faults unidentifiable by the naked eye. Specialized equipment used to check tyres for defects and failures in the new tyre industry are not available in the second hand tyre market, therefore is it virtually impossible to identify some issues.
  • Tyre history is unavailable. Unaware of previous driving and road conditions, there is no way of telling if the tyre will fail prematurely or wear at the same rate as each other due to how it has been treated in the past.
  • It is a time consuming process searching for the right used tyre.

Sources of second hand tyres

Most used tyres could possibly be coming from: -

  • Written off vehicles,
  • Early retired tyres,
  • Stolen tyres.

There is the possibility that the tyres were sitting for many years in the weather deteriorating, out of shape or were exposed to flat spot during the above.

Do not fall for these tricks

Second hand tyres can be physically altered, giving the illusion that they are newer than they really are. Among the most common alterations are: -
  • Regrooving (Stripping away the rubber leaves the tyre exposed. This has severe implications on the structural strength).
  • Painting and oiling,
  • Retread (Carcass could be severely aged to the point of weakening structural strength).

Identifying a satisfactory used tyre

In the event that you really need to purchase a second hand tyre, then you should: -

  • Find out the tyre age,
  • Check tread depth,
  • Thoroughly inspect for damages and defects,
  • Lastly know the brand.

I strongly discourages the use of second hand tyres because, it is difficult to notice significant damage to the tyres, making tyre failure and remaining lifespan hard to predict. Most of the damages resulting from previous use will only show when you are running the tyre on a highway, the risk of failure under this circumstance is not a good prospect.

Second hand tyres can be used in many other ways like making tyre themed furniture, gardening, children playgrounds, water buckets, Maasai shoes, etc.