Second-hand tyres are tyres which have been used previously in another vehicle. Buying a new one usually makes a deep dent in your wallet. But used tyres can more often than not be a serious threat to the safety of the vehicle. Bald ones with no treading are a very dangerous hazard, especially in slippery conditions. So, depending on the usage of the vehicle, second-hand tyres just might prove to actually be a great bargain or a risk-filled gamble.
Is it legal to sell/buy Second-hand tyres in India?
Yes, it is legal to sell and buy Second-hand tyres in India. The Government of India does not impose any restriction on the buying and selling of this product. It is only illegal to sell them as new products. In case they are being imported, which is usually the case, appropriate import duties will be applicable.
Why customers prefer to buy Second-hand tyres?
- Cost savings – The most common reason why any customer would look for a part-worn tyre is that of the low cost. Before the entry of cheaper options into the market, these were the only option for customers who could not afford a new one.
- Trial different tyre brands- In case you want to try a brand you are not sure of, used tyres would be better than the new one.
- Environmental Benefit- With the world’s increased awareness of environmental vulnerability, using second-hand tyres can even be a good way to encourage sustainability and reducing global waste.
What are the risks of buying Second-hand tyres?
- Control loss of the vehicle- The treading of the tyre keeps your vehicle in firm control of the driver. In the case of second-hand tyres, the tread quality checks if not done will cause the vehicle to swerve out of control. Almost 22% of all road accidents are because of these related issues and people not giving enough importance to the state of their tyres
- Less Tyre Lifespan – A measure of a tyre’s life is usually done through evaluating the depth of the groves of the treading. Unlike other countries, India does not impose any regulations on the depth of groves of treading. This usually means that most used ones will be completely bald. And invariably may not even last a few months.
- Hidden risks- There are also more hidden risks of buying part worn tyres. These are extremely risky because you cannot ascertain the state of the casing for sure before buying. Inadequate treading is also a common cause of punctures.
Checkpoints while buying Second-hand tyres
Before you decide to purchase a second-hand tyre, keep the following in mind:
- Buy only top brand tyres. That way you can at least be assured that the basic construction is as per high-quality standards
- Buy in pairs. This makes sure that both tyres of a single axle will match.
- Try to avoid buying tyres which are more than six years old
- Do an inflation test before purchase
- Ensure that the original tread is visible and it is of the 2mm breadth
- In case it has been retreaded, ensure that it is marked
- Ask as many questions about the history of use of the vehicle
- Physically examine the product closely or better yet take an expert with you. It may appear to look good from the outside, but remember a tyre consists of almost 30 parts, all of which are required to be used in harmony. Look out for
- Cracks on the sidewalls or tread
- Past repairs are done
- Sharp objects like nails stuck on it
- Any protrusion or bulge on the tyre
Where to buy Second-hand tyres?
A lot of tyre dealers also deal with second-hand tyres. There are multiple dealers in every locality who deal exclusively in selling this product. A good way to find a well-reputed dealer is through word of mouth of people working in the automobile field or through the advice of your mechanic. Also, Used tyres are for sale through the online medium.
Second-hand tyres online – Viable option?
Second-hand tyres are available through dedicated online portals and other online forums which connect you with dealers in your area. The benefit of this option is the simplicity and increased variety and availability while the disadvantage is the that no one will vouch for the quality of the product.
Another option is that you can buy part worn tyres through social media directly from sellers. This option enables you to interact with the seller and you may be able to get more information and thereby make a better decision.
How much do Second-hand tyres cost in India?
The cost of a second-hand tyre depends on brand, condition and size. For cars, these prices can even start from Rs. 1000. Some dealers also sell imported ones. These might be of good quality but will have a higher price due to the addition of import duty on the final price.
So, if you were to compare buying used tyres versus new tyres based on cost alone, the former may seem like a better option, but you must look at it holistically. While buying new tyres will give you a life of 3 to 4 years, a used one may have to be changed again within a year.
Plus, there is always the added risk to the vehicle users on which one cannot put a price. Hence while the option of choosing second-hand tyres definitely seems attractive, in more cases than not the risks outweigh the benefits.