Millions of cars driving on ‘illegal tyres’

Millions of cars driving on 'illegal tyres' 9th July 2015

Millions of British drivers are risking fines by leaving it far too long before they have new tyres fitted to their vehicles. Many are unaware of when they need to change tyres, while others are simply not checking the health of those already on their car. 

As well as potentially facing a fine of up to £2,500, drivers are also risking the safety of themselves and other road users by not carrying out thorough checks. 

As part of a study into road safety, TyreSafe and Highways England looked at more than 100,000 tyres that had been changed at service centres across the UK last year, and found that more than a quarter (27 per cent) were illegal at the time the work was carried out because they had a tread depth lower than 1.6 mm. 

Another 39 per cent of the tyres examined were found to have had a tread depth only marginally above the minimum limit. TyreSafe said that its findings suggest that there could be up to ten million illegal tyres being used in the UK every year. 

It said that while the vast majority of drivers are not deliberately hitting the road with illegal tyre, it is still the responsibility of owners to make sure they check and know when they need new tyres. 

These checks need not take too long either. Drivers can check the tread depth of a tyre by simply using a 20p coin. If the tread is shallower than the width of the band around the face of the coin, then it's time to have new tyres fitted. 

Posted by Danielle Barge