The UK is rediscovering its love for used cars - a staggering 2 million of them were sold in Q3 of 2021. But as we’re sure you can appreciate already, there are certain things you have to look out for when you’re buying a used car rather than a new one.
The bodywork might seem intact, but the engine, brakes, and fluids are all some of the most critical things that need to be inspected if you plan on taking it on the roads again. Another major thing on that list: tyres. The state of the tyres will probably be a top priority of yours, so here are some of the most common potential problems to look out for.
1. Careful of cracking and bulging
Cracked and bulged tyres are some of the most dangerous issues you can find when buying a used car. A tyre cracks or bulges when it has taken a few knocks and bumps along the way – e.g., against a kerb or a pothole or two – and often means that they’re not far away from completely blowing out. If you think this might be an issue on a car that you’re planning on buying, make sure it’s at the top of your list to get sorted before the car ever comes close to being driven on the roads under its own power
2. Slow punctures
Slow punctures can be one of the more difficult issues to deal with, partially because they can be so hard to see until they’ve already become a major problem. If it’s something you think might be an issue with a car you’re considering buying, it’s a good idea to make some general checks across the tyre for nails, bricks or other unwanted material. Driving a car with a slow puncture will often feel like it is pulling / veering slightly on one side of the vehicle, so as soon as you purchase the car, you’ll be able to tell. If it’s a while before you get to drive your car, then frequent pressure checks will help you discover whether there may be a slow puncture.
3. Tread depth and wear and tear
To pass its MOT, a car’s tyre tread must be 1.6mm in depth minimum. This is the legal requirement in Britain, but there’s no requirement on how long left a car must have on the MOT. So being aware of this issue will allow you to plan for anything extra you may need to invest in. The difference in stop time between 1.6mm treads and the recommended 3mm tyres is 44%. That can easily make all the difference as to whether or not you have a devastating crash.
Scuffing and baldness is also a continuous hazard, one that can develop over time as a result of natural wear and tear. Every car will suffer general wear and tear – it’s the sign of a loved vehicle! – but this is probably the most common problem for tyres of used or scrap cars. It’s definitely one to watch out for, as driving on tyres that are bald and damaged can incur a fine of up to £2500!
Happily, the vast majority of tyre issues are pretty easy to fix, so if you know what you’re doing, you can save yourself a fair bit of money buying used over new - especially if you’re planning to ‘flip’ the car for profit. Whatever your plans, you can trust us to have plenty of useful options for you here at RAW2K. We have a wide range of used cars from trusted manufacturers such as BMW, Vauxhall and Ford. If you’re looking for a great used car, why not take a look around on our site, and see what you can find?