For passenger vehicles the minimum legal tyre tread depth limit must be:
• 1.6 mm tread depth
• 1.6 mm across 75% of the width of the tyre
• 1.6 mm around the entire circumference of the tyre
The law can be severe on dodgy tyres.
If a tyre is found to have a tread depth not within the legal limits. The maximum fine that a court can impose is £2500 per tyre and 3 penalty points.
• Tyre tread depth must comply with the legal requirements outset above
• Use of cross-ply and radial tyres must be used correctly
• Cuts, bulges and tears may deem a tyre illegal
• Over or under inflated tyres making the vehicle unstable or at risk of a tyre blow-out
• Exposed tyre ply or cord around any part of the tyre
Before checking the condition of your tyres, ensure you are on a flat surface, with plenty of distance from kerbs, the car is turned off and safely secured with the parking brake.
Ensure the tyre has a minimum of 1.6 mm of tread depth across at least 75% of the central width of the tyre and around the entire circumference.
Tyre tread markers are available on most tyres as illustrated in the diagram. When the tyre tread becomes level with the markers, the tyre is at its minimum legal limit. Whilst performing the tyre check, ensure there are no deep cuts on the sidewalls and no bulges.
The correct tyre pressure for your vehicle can be found inside your vehicle hand book and should be done whilst the tyres are cold.
If you have an accident that is your fault and an inspection concludes that one or more of your vehicles tyres are illegal, it is highly likely that your car insurance will become invalid.