Key Takeaways

  • It's legal and safe to sell your used tires.
  • Before selling your used tires check for the tires that meet certain safety guidelines.
  • Make sure the tires have at least 4/32 of tread on them before you sell them.
  • Make sure all tire repairs on the tire are in working order.
  • Give the tires a good visual inspection for side punctures, steel beads showing, and chunks taken out of the tire bead, or buildup present on the sidewall.

This post may include affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we'll receive a commission at no extra cost to you. This support helps us maintain and grow our site. Thank you for your support!

Saving tires in hopes to sell them seems like a good idea. But is it legal or safe? With all the laws and rules surrounding tires, it’s hard to know for sure.

Yes, you can sell used tires. There are some general rules of thumb you’ll want to follow before selling them, but in most cases, it’s safe and legal to sell used tires. Shops can legally sell used tires as well, meaning you can save money by asking for used tires if you are in a pinch.

I’ve worked in a couple different tire shops over 10 years and each shop has their own policy on selling used tires. As well, I’ve come across countless customers who have inquired about saving their own tires for resale. Each case is unique, but in general, I’ve seen more cases where it was safe to resell the used tires rather than not. And the customers would be able to tell if the condition was bad enough just by looking at the tire and spotting very noticeable traumas to the tire like worn belts, worn tread, or deformed beads.

Table of Contents

Can You Sell Used Tires?

Selling used tires has always been a debate among tire techs. The main issue is safety. Some techs think selling used tires is unsafe, and more so than that, they think it’s a liability.

The tire shops will put in policies such as not selling used tires at all. For example, when I worked for a Firestone in New Jersey, we did not sell used tires at all. And most national chains, for liability reasons, will not sell used tires.

But there’s no reason for this at all. Used tires that are in good condition can still be mounted and driven on for the rest of their tread life. When you take a tire off its rim to patch it, technically, you’re mounting a used tire back on the rim to be driven on.

There’s no real difference between that and having a used tire that’s been stored mounted on your rim. Used tires still have life left in them, depending on the tread that’s left.

There’s no need for a tire with 10,000 miles left on it to just be thrown out. Sell it at a fraction of the cost to someone who can get more life out of the tire instead of just wasting the tread!

Guidelines For Safety

While selling used tires is safe and legal, there are some guidelines you’ll want to follow to be safe.

Tires are supposed to provide grip to the road, and if they fail to do so, it can cause the driver of the vehicle to lose control.

So you’ll want to make sure the used tires meet some sort of standards before you sell them to the next individual.

That way, you can sleep at night, and the person who bought the used tires can drive safely.

Safety is a tire tech’s number one consideration when working on a vehicle, so I’ve become trained in things to look out for that makes a used tire re-usable or not.

Tread Life

Tread life will be the first thing you consider when you go to resell your used tires. Tread life is the best indicator of how long the will last after you sell it, which can be used as a selling point.

The more tread you have on a tire, the more you can charge per used tire. For example, a tire that has 8/32 can be sold for twice as much as a tire that has 4/32 left.

If you can’t tell how much tread a tire is just by looking at it, you can pick up a tread depth gauge for $5.00.

As well, it’s a personal preference to not sell a set of used tires under 4/32 to another person because there's too little life left before the person has to buy another set.

It’s recommended that you buy new tires at 2/32, so selling tires at 4/32 leaves the individual needing new tires before their next oil change.

And if they don’t have the money for a set of new tires, they are riding around on dangerous tires and it can cause an accident.

Tire Punctures

Any tire punctures will need to be correctly patched. Plugs are considered unreliable since they eventually leak, so make sure all punctures are either patched, or plug patched.

And if you can, make sure the patches hold air before you sell them. To do so, mark the puncture location, have the tire mounted, inflate the tire, and put soapy water on the puncture.

If the leak starts to bubble, this means the plug or plug patch wasn’t applied right and needs to be fixed before you sell the used tire. If no bubbles appear, the tire is in good condition.

As well, if any punctures are in the side wall, the tire is considered garbage. Even if the used tire is punctured in the side wall and patched, it’s still unusable.

That’s because the tire is considered extremely unsafe with a puncture in the sidewall. The sidewall becomes too weak to drive on once the tire is inflated and has the added weight of the vehicle applied.

Punctures in the sidewall of the tire should never be patched. This added weakness to a tire can cause an extreme blowout when driving, and therefore an accident.

If you see a sidewall puncture patched, take the tire back to whoever patched the sidewall and demand a refund, and reprimand them for putting your life at risk.

General Tire Condition

Lastly, you want to make sure the tire is in good visible condition. Mainly, you’ll want to make sure no belts are showing.

Belts look like metal strings that poke out of the top of the tire tread. If you see these, just throw the tire out instead of reselling them as used tires. A tire in this condition is unsafe.

As well, check the state of the tire bead, which is the inner part of the tire that grips onto the rim. Make sure there are no chunks taking out of the tire bead.

If there are any missing parts of the bead, trash the tire. Check the bead for any discoloration as well. If the discoloration doesn’t wipe off with some brake clean and a rag, it could be considered some buildup that makes the tire unsealable and unusable.

So discoloration on the bead is cause for further inspection.

Selling used tires is a great way to be resourceful since it saves a customer money and makes you some extra cash.

But don’t do so without being somewhat cautious and safe. Selling used tires is totally acceptable when you follow the simple guidelines outlined above, so enjoy the extra cash and be safe.

Can You Sell Used Tires?

About The Author

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks

Christopher Sparks has been servicing vehicles since 2012. After completing the automotive studies program at Camden County College, he was awarded an Associates's Degree in Applied Science. His first job was a lube-tech at Jiffy Lube, and is currently an independent B-Technician servicing vehicles for the United States Postal Service. Christopher is ASE certified and loves rebuilding engines.

Read more about Christopher Sparks