Used tires: Are they Really worth it?

Anyone who has ever experienced sticker shock due to having to replace a vehicle’s tire (or, worse yet, all of them) has surely pondered whether they could just choose used tires instead. You can, but probably not advisable.

Their main issue is safety because there’s no way to tell how unsafe a tire is likely to b, according to Consumer Reports, and you surely don’t want to take any chances. On the other hand, new tires are often better than used ones. Well in this article we’ll be discussing about used tires and if they are worth it.

Used tires

So, let’s dive in!


Advantages and disadvantages of used tires


Cost is undoubtedly the main factor influencing consumers’ decisions to purchase secondhand tires. It is true that vendors can give significant discounts for used tires, frequently half the price or less than for new tires, as there are around 38 million used tires available nationally each year.

Reselling tires also have an advantage for the environment. Every year, millions of tires are discarded, which adds significantly to pollution. Like any sector, recycling these materials and cutting waste has benefits.

When worn tires do stop being utilized for transportation, there is still additional use for them. The market for reclaimed rubber is expanding. These materials have been recycled for a variety of tasks, such as producing running tracks or field turf or upgrading asphalt to make roadways quieter and smoother. Even if those are the two principal advantages of purchasing used tires, do they balance the dangers?


Before purchasing tires of any kind, and especially when looking at used tires, there are a number of things to keep in mind. As usual, safety comes first. It is not surprising that worn, older tires function less well than new tires and are significantly less safe. Tires having a tread depth of 4/32′′ or less were shown to be considerably more likely to contribute to crashes, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) study.

Of course, there are methods for determining the tread on your tires. The most popular is the “penny test,” which involves inserting a coin with Abraham Lincoln’s head downward into the tread row groove. The tires are too worn if you can clearly see the top of Lincoln’s head. No problem, isn’t it?

There are still a ton of other things to take into consideration. Additionally, many of them might be difficult for the typical buyer to see. The age of the tire (experts advise avoiding purchasing tires older than six years), any liner or bead damage, or repairs of punctures on the interior of the tire are a few issues that can be more difficult to identify. Check for any of these issues before purchasing old tires. The unknown poses the greatest risk of all, though.

Sellers of new tires must abide by stringent federal regulations. However, that is not at all the case when it comes to secondhand tires. The sale of secondhand tires across the nation is unregulated and subject to minimal limitations. As a result, it is not only challenging to identify some of the problems we described above, but it is also extremely difficult to determine the history of the used tires you are contemplating.

What to check for if you are buying used tires

The age of a tire

The last four numbers following DOT on a tire sidewall include this information. The week is indicated by the first two numerals and the year of manufacturing by the last two. 3414 will therefore indicate that the tire was produced in the 34th week of 2014. Manufacturers claim that after six years of continuous use, the rubber begins to degrade and become overly dry. The US Department of Transportation advises a functional tire’s maximum age to be up to 10 years in cases when it receives excellent maintenance.

The rubber often begins to degrade after seven years, so exercise caution and keep an eye out for cracks caused by dryness. Purchasing an old tire is an unwise decision, even if the treads are deep. Even if you hardly ever drive, rubber eventually dries up and becomes weaker.


Look over the tire carefully. Check for splitting at the seams. Look for any indications of repairs or patches. For cracks, look. Check the walls for bubbles. Look for dents, missing pieces, and flat areas. Look for uneven wear: Don’t buy tires if the previous owner had poor alignment or overinflated or underinflated them.

Check the tread depth

Lincoln’s head placed upside down into the tread can be used to verify the tread depth; if the full head is visible, the tire is worn down. Additionally, you have the option of using a quarter, a tread depth gauge, or the tire’s tread indication.

The UTQG code

You may find out how quickly a tire will wear out by looking at the Uniform Tire Quality Grade Standards (UTQG) rating. The process will proceed more quickly the lower the “Treadwear” number is. Some tires under UTQG 100 deteriorate very quickly, whereas tires with UTQG 450–600 last a very long time, but frequently at the sacrifice of performance.

How Long Do Used Tires Last?

Not all models and names offer superior wear resistance. Some tread lives are better than others, and sometimes the type of tire makes a difference in tread life. For instance, touring tires should last longer than summer or performance tires. The same is true for pickup trucks or SUV highway-terrain tires, which have longer wear characteristics than all-terrain tires.

Most of the time, a variety of variables, such as the overall health of the car, the driver’s habits, the distance traveled, and the current road and weather conditions, affect tread life. So, the answer to the issue of how long a particular set of tires, whether new or old, will endure is: it depends on how and where you drive your car. The latter may not be in your hands, but if you drive sensibly and cautiously, you ought to be able to get every last mile out of a set of old tires.

Related Article

Watch the video below to learn more


What is the disadvantage of used tires?

  • It could be challenging to examine the tire.
  • There could be internal harm.
  • There isn’t a guarantee.
  • Eventually, you may spend more money.
  • The rubber may be degrading and aged.
  • Statistics do not support the use of used tires.

Are used tires good for your car?

Purchasing used tires for your car is more of a risk than buying a used car, which is a terrific way to save money while still having a dependable vehicle. Used tires might cost less, but the risk is not worth the extra money in your wallet.

What is the benefit of used tires?

If you know what to look for, secondhand car tires can last just as long as new ones, which is another benefit. Look for tires that are not worn and yet have a respectable amount of tread if you’re looking to buy used car tires.

What is the difference between new and used tires?

The primary distinction between new and used tires—aside from price—is, of course, wear. Used tires can still be utilized for several thousand kilometers, so don’t become alarmed. All we need to do is learn how to gauge tire wear.

How long do used tires last?

Your rear tires may last longer than this, and your front tires should last for about 20,000 miles before needing replacement. For instance, if you typically drive 5,000 miles each year, this means that they should be replaced every four years.

Is it okay to use cheap tires?

The short answer is that you should base your purchase on quality rather than price. Brand or pricing are less significant factors than quality. The most expensive tire manufacturers have a less expensive offshoot that is nonetheless regarded as being of comparable quality.

Do tires degrade if not used?

A tire will endure between 6 and 10 years, if it is not used, provided it is stored in ideal circumstances. According to manufacturer recommendations, a tire is only guaranteed to be secure for the first five years of its life, though some manufacturers acknowledge that this can be extended up to 10 years if problems are periodically checked for.

What is the disadvantage of cheap tires?

Cheap tires are also not very cost-effective, in addition to these major safety problems. While all tires eventually wear down, high-quality tires will endure for several seasons (especially when rotated and treated properly). Cheap tires might start to degrade after just one use.

How long do cheap tires last?

Budget tires typically last between 20,000 and 40,000 miles on average. It’s crucial to keep in mind that this is only a preliminary estimate, and depending on the aforementioned conditions, your tires may wear out more quickly or last longer.

Do cheap tires wear faster?

As we have stated, the tread on inexpensive tires will frequently wear down far more quickly than the tread on expensive tires. If you drive frequently, you’ll simply find that you need to change them far more frequently than you would with quality tires. Therefore, in the long run, you’ll incur losses.

What are two common problems with tires?

  • Incorrect tire inflation.
  • Tire wear.
  • Uneven tire wear.
  • Cracks and Bulges.

That’s all for this article where we discussed used tires and if they are worth it. Hope it was helpful. If so, kindly share. Thanks for reading.

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