Tyres are to Blame for Millions of Drivers Failing Their MOT!

11th February 2022

Can tyres fail MOTs? Every year many motorists fail their MOT test first time due to their tyres! The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) stated that in 2017, 11% of MOT test fails were due to tyres and TyreSafe claimed that in 2013, over 1 million vehicles were failed due to unsafe or illegal tyres. More recently, these statistics have increased to a whopping 10% of cars failing their MOT test on their tyres. So, are your tyres legal?

Take a look at the most common tyre faults and MOT tyre requirements which, if not abided by, could cause you to fail your MOT test:

Wrong Size Tyres

Using tyres that are the wrong size for your vehicle can result in an MOT fail. When fitting new tyres, you must check your vehicle handbook to find the correct tyre size and use this to purchase new tyres. The vehicle handbook may specify a different size for the front and rear tyres. However, it is essential that tyres fitted on the same axle are the same size.

To check if the tyres fitted to your vehicle are the correct size, you can find the recommended tyre size in your vehicle handbook and check that this matches the size of your tyres. Your tyre size will be printed on the sidewall of your tyres.

Fitting Tyres of Different Construction

It is also a legal MOT tyre requirement to only fit tyres that are the same construction to the same axle. For example, cross-ply and radial tyres must not be fitted to the same axle. If you are unsure of the structure of your tyres, contact a tyre specialist for guidance.

Avoid part-worn tyres

Many Council Trading Standards have reported that a number of garages are selling part-worn tyres with incorrect labelling. Some other issues with part-worn tyres included:

  • Repairs not carried out in accordance with Non BS AU 159
  • Unrepaired penetration damage
  • Bead damage
  • Deep cuts or ply exposed
  • Run-flat damage

When purchasing new tyres, it's recommended to buy brand new tyres, as you avoid the risk of buying potentially dangerous tyres. Additionally, you are more likely to save money in the long run when you buy new tyres, as part-worn tyres are likely to have a shorter life span.

Tyre Tread Depth

Another MOT tyre rule states that driving on tyres with a tread depth lower than 1.6mm is illegal and can result in a fine of £2,500 per illegal tyre and points on your licence if you are caught driving on them. Unsurprisingly, tyre treads lower than this limit will also fail the MOT test. You can check your tyre tread depth with a 20p coin. All you need to do is place the coin in the grooves of your tyre - if the outer band disappears, your tread depth is meeting the legal requirement. However, if the band is clearly visible, this indicates that your tread depth is below the legal limit and needs replacing.

You should check your tyre tread every three weeks to ensure it is above the legal limit and replace them when necessary. Here at The Tyre Group, we recommend that you replace your tyres at 3mm as from this point your gripping capabilities and resistance against aquaplaning are seriously affected.

Tyre Sidewall Damage

Tyres that have signs of damage including:

  • Lumps and bulges
  • Visible signs of the ply and cord
  • Cuts, punctures and tears

If you suffer tyre damage, at any time not only before your MOT test, you must have your tyres checked over by a specialist who will be able to determine the extent of the damage.

TPMS Malfunction

Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems (TPMS) are electronic sensors in tyres which alert the driver if the tyre pressure has become too high or too low. The TPMS will send a warning light to your dashboard to alert the driver of the tyre pressure issue - however, many people aren't aware that the TPMS is also checked as part of their MOT test. To avoid a TPMS MOT fail, ensure that your TMPS system is serviced when you next change your tyres.

In Doubt? Visit The Tyre Group!

If you are unsure whether your tyres meet the MOT tyre rules and standards needed to keep you safe on the road and pass the MOT test, visit your local Tyre Group branch. Here, you'll be able to have them inspected by a tyre specialist for free!

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