Refurbished tyres (also known as retread tyres) have been around for a long time, about as long as modern tyres in fact. But many drivers are unsure of these tyres and see team as substandard when in fact, there are huge benefits in using refurbished tyres. 

All tyre manufacturers design their tyres with the intention that they are retread at least once, with heavy duty tyres being retread by design. Many manufacturers have their own plants for the recycle of used tyres, often selling them under a different brand to their original or main branding.

Are they safe?

Yes, they are. This is one of the first questions drivers have when offered refurbished tyres as there are myths about the performance and reliability of the tyre.

However, all recycled tyres are made to British Standard and since 2004, all retreaded tyres must meet two separate EC regulations which ensures the manufacturer upholds certain manufacture standard which are monitored, which essentially means all refurbed tyres have been manufactured under “license”.

Refurbished Tyres

So safe are they, that 90% of all aircraft tyres are recycled and as many as half of the bus and haulage companies in the UK use retreaded tyres due to their performance and economy. Whilst this doesn’t necessarily or directly translate to car tyres it shows the level of performance and safety offered.

How are they refurbished?

The only part of a car tyre that wear typically, is the tread. And with the law on tread ensuring a safe minimum, the tyre casing, which makes up the bulk of the tyre, typically shows little signs of wear over the average “new tyre” lifespan.

With this said, when a tyre is chosen for recycling it first has to have a casing inspection to ensure it is in suitable condition. After this, the remains of the old tread are removed to leave a suitable surface for the application of new rubber.

This is done by adding uncured rubber to the casing in the same fashion as is used in the production of a new tyre. Often, the side wall of the tyre is also changed to reflect a change in branding or to highlight they are retread tyres.

Once the tyre is again inspected, they are then cured which is the final step in preparing a car tyre.

Do they drive or feel different?

No! Retreaded tyres are manufactured and then tested to ensure they meet the same standards as new tyres. EC regulation 108 (covering car tyres) ensures that these tyres meet all road safety standards as a new tyre has to and as such, drivers shouldn’t notice any difference, in any weather conditions. Recycled tyres will, at the least, match up to a like for like new tyre.

Reasons to buy Refurbished Tyres

First things first, they are cheaper! Typically, refurbishing a tyre uses around 20 less litres of oil than in the production of a new tyre which means they cost a lot less to make and the driver benefits with the tyres being up to 50% cheaper depending on the brand and quality of the tyres. In fact, truck and lorry tyres are made specifically with refurbishment in mind and as such it is common practice in the haulage industry.

And, as mentioned, that’s a lot less oil! Not only are there direct reductions in oil use per tyre but for every tyre refurbished one new tyre isn’t required so the benefit is doubled with each tyre.