Tyre Tread Depth

A tyre will begin its life with approximately 8mm of tread, however, over time this will wear away. The capability of tyres begins to diminish when your tread drops below 3mm and they become illegal at 1.6mm. Here at The Tyre Group, we recommend checking your tyre tread every four weeks.

What Does Tyre Tread Do?

Tyre tread is designed to ensure tyres can grip the surface of the road whilst driving and provides resistance against aquaplaning and enhances steering control.

Having sufficient tyre tread is particularly important in wet conditions, as it works to disperse water away from the tyre and retains traction with the surface of the road. If your tyres cannot grip the road, you may end up aquaplaning or skidding.

How Does Tyre Tread Wear?

Tyre tread will wear with time and use. How quickly they wear depends upon a number of factors including:

  • How frequently tyres are used
  • The type of terrain tyres are driven on
  • Driving style

If you notice that your tyres are wearing unevenly, this may be an indication that your wheels have become misaligned and this can drastically decrease the life of your tyres. Find out more about wheel alignment here.

Legal Requirements

Although tyre performance becomes drastically affected when tread wears below 3mm, tyres are not illegal until they reach 1.6mm. If your tyres have 1.6mm of tread, or less, you must have them replaced immediately.

If you are found driving on tyres with less than 1.6mm of tread, you risk being fined up to £2,500 and gaining three penalty points, per illegal tyre, on your licence.

In addition, if you have an accident and your tyres are found to be illegal, your insurance policy may become invalid.

The 20p Test

You can check your tyre tread depth easily at home using a tyre gauge, or by performing the 20p test. Simply place a 20 pence coin into the tread grooves on your tyre in at least three different places. If the outer band of the 20 pence coin is visible, your tyres do not have sufficient tread and you need to replace them.

For more information, take a look at this helpful video from TyreSafe:

As well as ensuring that your tread depth meets legal requirements, frequently checking your tyre pressures is also an important part of tyre maintenance.

For more information on tyre safety and maintenance, please contact your local Tyre Group branch.

Buy tyres online with The Tyre Group for fitment at one of our branches in the Midlands, South West England, South Wales and Scotland Contact The Tyre Group incorporating Malvern Tyres, Discount Tyres, County Tyre, King David Tyres Ltd and AutoTyre & Battery Co. We have more than 50 branches located throughout the Midlands, South West England, South Wales and Scotland