UK Tyre Law

UK tyre law requires that the tyres fitted to your vehicle must comply with manufacturers’ recommendations. They must also be correctly inflated and free of cuts and damage, and have sufficient tread depth. If they don’t then they may be deemed illegal. This could result in a hefty fine and points being added to your licence.

To avoid these potential penalties, take a look at what you are responsible for when it comes to UK tyre law and how you can be sure that your tyres are legal.

Fitting Suitable Tyres

It is a legal requirement that you fit your vehicle with tyres that are the correct size. If you have tyres that are the incorrect size for your vehicle then your tyres are illegal and you could face prosecution and a large fine.

To safeguard against this, you must always ensure that when you purchase new tyres they are the correct size for your vehicle and have a load index and speed rating which correlate to your vehicle. You can find this information in your vehicle handbook and on the sidewall of your tyres.

In addition, tyre specialists will usually have a good understanding of the requirements of different makes and models of vehicles and they can help you to select the right tyres.

Mixing Tyres

As well as ensuring that your tyres meet your vehicle specifications, you need to make sure that they match each other.

Tyres are constructed differently and the three types are radial, cross ply and bias belted. When it comes to fitting tyres on your vehicle, there are strict regulations imposed by the government on mixing these different constructions.

As a main rule, tyres of different construction must not be fitted to the same axle, however, you should consult your vehicle handbook for further guidance.

Part Worn Tyres

Whilst buying and selling part worn tyres in the UK is legal, it is a highly regulated trade and tyres must meet strict standards imposed by the government.

Due to the fact that 98%* of all part worn tyres on the market are illegal and potentially could be dangerous, The Tyre Group would advise against buying part worn tyres, find out more about part worn tyres and their legal status.


Maintaining your Tyres

As a car owner, you have a legal duty to maintain your tyres and ensure that they are in roadworthy condition.

To keep them safe and legal you should:

  • Check your tyre pressures frequently and make sure that they are kept at the manufacturers recommended pressure.
  • Visually inspect your tyres regularly for damage such as cuts, bulges and lumps and consult a tyre specialist if you do find any damage to the inner or outer sidewall.
  • Ensure that your tyre tread depth does not reach the legal minimum of 1.6mm. Some tyres will have tread wear indicators, however, it is best to learn how to check your tread depth yourself and undertake this task every few weeks.

Spare Tyres

Contrary to popular belief, it is not a legal requirement to carry a spare tyre in your vehicle. However, if you do carry a spare then it needs to meet legal requirements.

This means, much like all your other tyres, it must not have visual damage such as cuts or bulges, it must be inflated to the correct pressure and tyre tread must meet the legal minimum. If your spare tyre is a space saver, be sure to get it replaced as soon as possible after use.

If you are worried that your tyres do not comply with the requirements demanded under UK tyre law, visit your nearest Tyre Group to have them inspected.

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