Are you driving on illegal tyres?

Thirteen per cent of UK motorists admit to driving with tyres below the legal limit

- Advertisement -

Four million cars could be being driven on the road with illegal tyres that are bald or damaged, according to new research published this week.

And nearly two-thirds of motorists admitted to not fully understanding the rules around driving with worn-out tyres, risking a dangerous blowout or a fine.


You may also like:

A poll of 2,000 motorists on behalf of vehicle repair company Halfords Autocentre found that 13% of drivers have knowingly driven with tyres below the legal tread limit.

Meanwhile, 65% said they didn’t know that the legal tyre tread depth is 1.6mm across the central three quarters of the tyre. If caught, motorists risk a fine of £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre, meaning a fine of £10,000 and losing their licence if all four tyres are worn.

The survey also found that 27% of drivers haven’t checked their tyres in the past three months and 42% don’t know how to check their tyre pressures.

Illegal tyres can be caused by pothole damage | The Car Expert

Illegal tyres that are worn below the minimum tread limits, or have been damaged from bouncing through potholes or similar, can have serious negative effects on your car’s safety, as Haldfords warns.

Martin Barber, Halfords Autocentres tyres expert, says: “We were surprised to find that so many Brits are driving with tyres below the legal tread depth, which can reduce braking and steering ability especially in unpredictable weather and wet driving conditions.

“After completing millions of tyre checks to help keep Britain’s cars on the roads, we’re proud to offer a free tyre check for every motorist.”

October is Tyre Safety Month, and Halfords recommends drivers inspect their tyres for irregular wear or damage that could affect performance, as well as advising drivers to change their tyres when the tread gets below 2mm.

It is also recommended that you regularly check tyre pressures to avoid abnormal wear, increased fuel consumption and shortening the life of the tyre.

- Advertisement -
Darren Cassey
Darren Cassey
Articles by Darren Cassey are provided for The Car Expert by PA Media (formerly the Press Association). They include test drives of the latest new cars and features on various aspects of automotive life.

Latest Expert Advice

Could you be invalidating your car insurance?

If you don't give your insurer the correct information about you, your car and your driving situation, your car insurance may not be valid.

Different types of gearbox explained

Do you find the different types of gearbox all a bit confusing? What's a DCT, or a CVT, or a DSG? The Car Expert is here to help.

Latest Expert Ratings

Honda e

The Honda e electric city car has been praised for its retro-futuristic styling and technology, but criticised for poor battery range.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric

The Hyundai Ioniq Electric has received generally good reviews, with the updated 2019 model being a useful improvement on the 2016 original.

Mercedes-Benz A-Class gets new top-spec trim level

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is now available with a new top-spec Exclusive Edition trim level that comes highly specified.

All-new Hyundai i20 pricing and specifications confirmed

Hyundai has confirmed that the new i20 will cost from £18,595 and boast a new top-level trim called Ultimate.

Covid pandemic is changing our car buying plans

New research suggests up to 14 million UK car owners have changed their minds about their next car purchase as a result of Covid-19.

Britain’s best-selling cars, September 2020

The Vauxhall Corsa roared back to the top of the sales charts in September, while the Ford Focus dropped way down the order.

More from The Car Expert

Expert Advice

Award-winning, independent and impartial advice on buying, financing, owning and running a car

Expert Ratings

We analyse and aggregate dozens of media reviews for each new car into an overall Expert Rating

Expert News

All the most important new car launches, model updates, car reviews and industry news

Expert Partners

Our new space for commercial partners to bring you special offers on their products and services

What are your thoughts? Let us know below.