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How important is the tread of your tyre?

One of the most important aspects of owning a car is maintaining your car tyres on a regular basis, which is something that a lot of people tend to overlook. If you fail to keep your tyres in line with the regulations and your tyre tread at a safe level then your insurance will be declared void and you could face penalty points and a fine up to £2,500. Fortunately, there are many simple steps that you can take in order to make sure this does not happen to you and to ensure your tyres comply with the UK regulations – the legal limit of which is a minimum of 1.6mm.

It is important to remember that your tyres are very important to the performance of your car, as they are the only things that are connecting your vehicle with the road – meaning that they provide your car with important aspects such as grip, stopping ability, performance and safety. The tread life indicates the durability and stability of your tyre’s shelf-life, so you can know when it’s at its optimum level of performance. It is essential that the tread depth does not go below the UK's Legal limit, because if it does it can be highly dangerous as the tyre’s ability to provide grip and stopping distance on the road will be significantly reduced, especially in wet or cold weather conditions.

How can you check tread depth?

There are many ways for which you can check this, with the most obvious being to inspect the wear indicator on the tyre. New tyres automatically come with a tread wear indicator which gradually disappears as they tyre wears down, so when you can’t see it, it means that you need to change them. Another less conventional way of checking this is to use a simple 20 pence coin which has an outer ridge of exactly 1.6mm, the same as the legal tread depth limit. The way you do this is to insert the coin into the tyre tread and if you can still see its outer edge then your tyres have passed the legal limit and are declared as illegal.

In the interest of safety, everyone should check their tread depth on a regular basis to ensure the well-being of you and any other road-users. By regularly checking up on this, you can eliminate any potential problems that arise and will therefore make yourself safer on the roads. 


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