What makes your tyres illegal

Author Name – Jack Underwood

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If your tyres are found to be below the legal tyre tread depth limit for UK roads, you run the risk of being fined, receiving penalty points on your driving license and potentially being disqualified from driving.

tyre fines

Defective tyres can put yourself, your passengers and fellow road users in danger. Due to this, it is important that your tyres are checked on a regular basis, especially before long journeys to ensure that your tyres are safe and legal. As well as the tyre tread depth, the general tyre tread condition and tyre pressures should also be checked.

What is the legal tread depth limit?

The legal tread depth for tyres in the UK is 1.6mm throughout a continuous band in the centre ¾ of the tread and around the entire circumference of the tyre.

Insufficient tyre tread depth will cause stopping distances to be longer. On wet road surfaces, your tyres will not be able to disperse water effectively, meaning you could lose control of your vehicle, potentially leading to disastrous circumstances.

Here at National, we would recommend getting your tyres changed at around 2mm, rather than waiting to hit the legal limit. Many studies have shown significant decreases in performance (particularly in the wet) as the tyre tread drops below 2-3mm. In fact, many blue light services routinely change their tyres at 3mm.

Tyre Fines

The penalties for driving with illegal tyres can be severe. If you are stopped by the police and your tyres are found to be below the legal tyre tread depth limit, you can receive 3 penalty points on your driving license and be fined up to £2,500 per illegal tyre.

This means that if all four tyres on your vehicle are found to be illegal you could be fined £10,000 (£2,500 per tyre) and 12 penalty points on your driving license.

If you are found to be driving with illegal tyres, it is important that you get your tyres changed as soon as possible. If you are stopped on a separate occasion and are again found to be driving with tyres below the legal tyre tread limit, you will once again be fined and penalty points will be added to your driving license.

As well as keeping an eye on the tyre tread depth limit, there are other ways that your tyres can be deemed illegal, again leading for you to receive a fine of up to £2,500 and penalty points.

You need to be aware of any cuts, bulges or tears within the tyre tread. If the cut in the tyre covers more than 25mm or over 10% of the section width of the wheel, your tyres will be deemed unsafe, illegal and you could be fined. If your tyres are not inflated to the correct PSI as per your vehicle manufacturer handbook, both under-inflated and also over-inflated tyres can cause your tyres to become defective and unsafe. 

Free Safety Check

At National, we offer a free safety check which can be undertaken at your local National Branch. Our safety check will give you that extra peace of mind that your vehicle is safe and legal to drive.

To book a free safety check for your vehicle, please click on the button below.

Book Now

Buy Tyres Online

If you are looking for new tyres then these can be purchased either online or by heading to your local National branch for same-day fitting.

To purchase new tyres via our website, which includes free tyre-fitting, please click the link below. From here, you will need to enter your vehicle registration number or tyre size and then proceed to select the perfect tyres for your vehicle. As well as fitting in the branch, we also offer mobile tyre-fitting.

Buy Tyres Online

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