How to check tyre tread

Author Name – Jack Underwood

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Is important that you know how to check tyre tread to ensure that your tyres are legal and safe to drive on UK roads. The legal tyre tread depth is 1.6mm across the central ¾ around the complete circumference of the tyre however we would highly recommend replacing your tyres once the tyre tread gets to 3mm.

how to check tyre tread

Within this article, we will be answering some of the frequently asked questions we have received from UK drivers who are wanting to know how to check the tread of a tyre. Remember, if you have any tyre-related questions then feel free to get in touch with your local National Tyres and Autocare branch or alternatively drop us a message via our live chat feature on our website.

How do you measure tyre tread depth?

The 20p Tyre Tread Depth test

To check tyre tread, this can be simply by using a 20p coin. By placing the 20 pence coin into one of the main tread grooves of the tyre, you will be able to determine whether your tyres are worn. When the 20p has been inserted into the groove, if you can see the outer edge of the coin, then your tyres could be close to the legal limit. If this is the case, you can order new tyres either online or directly at your local National Tyres branch. Your tyres may also be fitted with Tread Wear Indicators. You will visually be able to see if these indicators are worn down.

How long does tyre tread last?

This is a difficult question to get a definitive answer as your tyre wear due to your driving style and how often you drive your car, as well as road conditions. On average your tyres should be able to last around 20,000 miles. However, it is important that your check your tyre tread regularly, especially if you drive your vehicle on a regular basis.

What is the minimum tyre tread depth in UK?

The minimum tyre tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm across the central ¾ around the complete circumference of the tyre. We would highly recommend that if your tyre tread depth gets to 3mm, that you replace your tyres. When a tyre is worn, these can also be called bald tyres. Bald tyres lack grip and can potentially be extremely dangerous.

How quickly do tyres wear?

There are a number of factors to determine how quickly your tyres will wear. These factors are: how often you drive your vehicle, your driving style and the road conditions. It is important to note here that even if your car has been sat idle for a considerable amount of time, or your car has been declared a SORN, that your tyres can be more susceptible to tyre punctures.

How do you check if your tyres need replacing?

Regular tyre maintenance is extremely important to keep you safe on the roads. To check whether your tyres need replacing, you will need to visually inspect the tyres and removing any debris. If you notice any rips, tears or bulges within the tyre tread, you may have a tyre puncture. If your tyre pressure is regularly deflating, this may point to a faulty valve or potentially a slow puncture. You can use the 20p test to check the tyre tread to monitor the tyre tread depth.

At National, we offer a FREE visual safety check which can be conducted at your local National Tyres and Autocare branch. To book a free safety check, where our highly trained branch technicians will be able to check if your tyres are roadworthy and safe for UK roads.

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