When something is wrong with a motorists car, they will seek advice and repair it as soon as possible. The problem with tyres is that they slowly deteriorate, making the change harder to detect. If motorists do not check their tyre’s health regularly, they could run of the risk of having badly worn tyres. These could lead to:
- Accidents – Performance deteriorates the more worn a tyre gets.
- Failed MOTs.
- Fines and points on license.
The Facts on Worn Tyres
Badly worn tyres are a recurring issue for motorists. A recent study carried out by Confused.com found that in 2016, almost 11,000 UK drivers were fined for having 1 or more defective tyres on their cars. This adds up to around £27 million pounds worth of fines.
In the UK, the ‘CU30’ offence states that if a motorist is found to be driving with badly worn tyres, they could face an automatic 3 points on their license. As well as this, they could have to face a maximum fine of £2,500 for each tyre.
This means that theoretically, a driver could run the risk of facing the eye-watering fine of £10,000 and a driving ban.
Furthermore, the more worn a tyre is, the less efficient it is. This means important factors such as handling and braking can be unreliable, leading the an increased chance of accidents.
As well as this, it is thought that roughly 23% of failed MOTs are due to defective tyres. This leads to the increased cost and inconvenience of having to set up another MOT at a later date.
With all these factors to consider, it is definitely best to know your stuff to ensure you are not faced with this issue.
How Do You Know if Your Tyres are Legal?
As a minimum, try to give your car’s tyres a visual inspection at least once every week. In particular look out for any bumps, tears or gauges.
At least once a month give the tyres a slightly more in-depth test – paying close attention to:
- Overall condition of tyres, including the sidewall.
- Tread depth.
- Tyre pressure.
- Signs of irregular wear.
- The spare tyre – this is often overlooked.
If you notice issues with any of these aspects of your tyres, or feel your tyres are unsafe, seek a professionals opinion immediately.
The 20 Pence Test
In the UK, the law states that the legal limit of tread on a tyre needs to be 1.6mm across 75% of the circumference of the tyre.
Testing the depth of the tread can be as simple as placing a 20p piece between the tread blocks. If you are able to see the outer rim of the coin then your tyres are illegal. Change them asap or face the consequences.
In addition, the study states that more than a third of motorists are unaware that there are penalties in place for badly worn tyres, so spread the word!
For a more detailed explanation, motorists can read our other article on how to check your tyres here.