ALMOST half of the part-worn tyres bought in Sandwell by trading standards officers in a random check were found to be illegal and potentially dangerous, a shock survey revealed.

The findings have led to drivers being warned to be extra careful when buying used tyres and to check they are properly marked as part-worn.

A survey of 15 tyres bought at random from suppliers in the borough revealed seven were considered dangerous by an independent expert.

Regulations state that part-worn tyres need to be clearly marked as being ‘part-worn’, bear certain other markings, be free of major defects and still have at least 2mm of tread depth remaining.

Cabinet member for trading standards Councillor Paul Moore said: “We ran this project to establish whether our local part-worn tyre suppliers were aware of their obligations and were only supplying products that comply with safety legislation.”

None of the tyres tested complied with legislation requiring them to be clearly marked as ‘part-worn’.

Councillor Moore added: "Consumers need to be confident that the tyres they are buying are suitable and safe.

"The consequences of getting the wrong type of tyre, or a damaged tyre can be extremely serious.”

Traders who sell dangerous tyres face fines of up to £5,000 and/or six months imprisonment.