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  • Writer's pictureMatthew Atkinson

A Definitive Guide to UK Tyre Law

UK Tyre Law on Tread Depth

The minimum tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm. This is around the full circumference of the tyre, in the centre 3/4 of the tyre tread. While 1.6mm is the minimum legal tread depth, it is advised by most tyre manufactures that tyres are changed between 2-3mm. Find out how to check the tread depth and condition of your tyres.

UK Tyre Law on Tyre Condition

As well as your tread depth, you must ensure your tyres are free of abnormalities such as bulges, lumps, bumps or cuts - there should also not be any exposed ply or cords. These abnormalities can significantly reduce the lifespan of your tyre and increase the likelihood of tyre failure.

UK Tyre Law on Tyre Construction Types

While mixing of winter, summer or all season tyres isn't illegal, it is however, illegal to mix different tyre constructions on the same axle. The main two types of tyre construction are radial and cross-ply, which must be on different axles.

UK Tyre Law on Spare Tyres

Contrary to popular belief, it is not a legal requirement to have a spare tyre. If you do carry a spare tyre however, it must meet the UK legal standards.

UK Tyre Law on Part Worn Tyres

Part worn tyres can be sold legally in the UK. Prior to selling part worn tyres the tyre fitter must ensure they have completed adequate checks on the condition of the tyre and made it fully known to the customer that the tyre is not new. First and foremost, the structural integrity of the tyre must not be compromised.

UK Tyre Law on Tyre Age

While there's no definitive age for car tyres, it is recommended that you don't allow your tyres to age more than 7-10 years before a tyre change. Although the tyre may not have travelled many miles in that time, like all things, the tyre still deteriorate with age.

The law regarding HGVs and other similar vehicles however, changed in 2019. Tyres on these vehicles cannot be more than 10 years old without being replaced or re-treaded.

UK Tyre Law on Winter Tyres

Unlike some other EU countries, winter tyres are not a legal requirement in the UK. Fitting winter tyres during colder months does have its benefits however and shouldn't be overlooked. Want to find out more about winter vs summer tyres?

Fines and Points for Not Complying

If your tyres do not comply with the UK legal standards, you can be prosecuted resulting in 3-points and a £2,500 fine PER TYRE!!

Are you due a tyre change to keep your tyres legal? Do you live in Sunderland or the surrounding areas? Give Grangetown tyres a call for a no obligation quote. Best of all... We'll come to you!!!

Blog article by Matt Atkinson, SME Geek Ltd


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