The Local Government Association (LGA) has warned that motorists trying to save money are putting lives at risk by buying dangerous second-hand tyres.
Councils have claimed that as many as 83 per cent of used tyres in some areas being sold illegally, with 908 road casualties and 16 fatalities recorded in 2015 where illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres were a contributory factor.
The LGA has recommended that anyone looking to purchase second-hand tyres to check that they are in good condition and bear the required 'PART-WORN' tyre marking, which proves that a tyre meets legal requirements.
Durham County Council officers and the National Tyre Distributors Association recently found that only 2.6 per cent of tyres stocked at various dealers bore the required 'PART-WORN' tyre marking, with 25 tyres having problems that could impair safety.
Simon Blackburn, chair of the LGA's Safer and Stronger Communities Board, said: "Cheap part-worn tyres might be tempting to buy but if they don't have the correct legal markings, motorists risk buying illegal tyres which could contribute to a major accident.
"New tyres are available to suit all budgets, provide a safer option and should last longer, meaning they may offer better value for money in the long term. Trading Standards teams at councils nationwide will continue to advise traders on their responsibilities, carry out test purchasing and won't hesitate to prosecute anyone selling unsafe used tyres. This crackdown by councils also highlights how important it is for motorists to check their vehicle's tyres are safe and legal."