As your tyres are crucial for vehicle safety, the UK tyre law is clear on the minimum legal standards for your tyres. There are three laws relating to tyres that you should be aware of:
- Tread depth- the minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm measure across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre and around the circumference of the tyre.
- Tyre pressures- your tyres should be inflated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations and around the circumference of the tyre.
- Tyre condition- tyres should be free from signs of visual damage such as cuts, bulges or objects such as glass.
Tyre Tread Depth
For the protection of the driver, passengers and other road users a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm on all tyres is required by law.
Tyres that don’t meet the minimum legal tread depth of 1.6mm are unsafe. They can also lead to a £2,500 fine and 3 penalty points per tyre.
Tyre performance starts to deteriorate rapidly as the tread wears down below 3mm. At 1.6mm in wet weather it takes on average an extra car length to stop when driving at 50mph compared to tyres with 3mm of tread depth.
Tyres with low tread depth are particularly dangerous in wet and icy conditions. There is an increased chance of your tyres losing grip which is especially dangerous when driving at high speeds.
Making sure that your tyres are inflated according to manufacturer’s recommendations is important for three reasons:
- Safety- under inflated tyres can overheat and lead to poor vehicle handling
- Economy- over and under inflated tyres wear out unevenly which can can cause tyres to wear out more quickly than they should and can cause misalignment over time
- Environment- incorrect tyre pressures lead to increased fuel consumption resulting in more CO2 emissions. This is not only detrimental to the environment but also increases the cost of driving.
UK law states that there should be no visual damage on your tyres. Therefore, it is important to check for signs of damage such as cuts and bulges. This will ensure that your vehicle is safe on the roads and ensure that you don’t get hit with a fine and penalty points.
Talk To The Tyre Pros
“Don’t get caught out with poorly maintained tyres. Make sure that you’re aware of the minimum legal requirements for your tyre tread depth, tyre condition and tyre pressures.”