Car maintenance may not be high on drivers’ to-do lists, and it’s all too easy to spend months without checking that your vehicle complies with applicable laws.
But motorists could face a hefty fine if their tires aren’t up to par.
Car tires must have a minimum profile of 1.6 mm.
Without proper tread, the tires don’t have enough grip on the road and you run the risk of skidding.
Driving with dangerous or flat tires is not only unsafe, it also risks a fine of up to £2,500 and three points on your driving licence.
That’s per tire, so four illegal tires could mean a £10,000 fine and 12 penalty points.
According to research by the Evans Halshaw car group, more than 8.5 million British drivers could be driving with illegal tyres.
Cars between the ages of 5 and 10 are most at risk, the survey found.
Here are some tips to ensure your tires are safe:
According to British law, the tire tread must have a certain depth depending on the type of vehicle.
For cars, light vans and light trailers, tires must have a minimum tread depth of 1.6 mm, while for motorcycles, large vehicles and passenger transport vehicles it is 1 mm.
Mopeds only need to have one visible profile.
Tires must also be free of cuts and defects.
Without a good profile, your car will take longer to stop.
Worn tires are especially dangerous in wet conditions because a tire’s tread helps drain water from where the tire hits the road.
With a lower tread depth, less water can be transported away, which increases the risk of aquaplaning and loss of grip or skidding.
Although 1.6mm is the legal limit, some tire and safety experts recommend a minimum tread depth of 3mm before you need to consider changing tires.
Tests by the technical organization MIRA showed that the braking distance increases dramatically as soon as the tires are less than 3 mm.
You can easily measure the depth of your tires with a 20p.
Just take a 20p coin and stick it in the tire tread grooves.
If you cannot see the outer band on the coin, your tires are above the legal limit.