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!!