Over Half the Cars on UK Roads Could be Illegal

11th Mar 2020

Over half of UK motorists could be driving around with illegal tyres on their vehicles, according to a recent study conducted by Evans Halshaw.

The results of the study were taken from the Vehicle Health Checks that our Evans Halshaw retailers completed on customer cars throughout the course of 2019.

Of the 240,785 Vehicle Health Checks completed during 2019, it was found that 56% of those checks had flagged at least one tyre as 'Safety Critical', meaning they were below the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, or otherwise unfit for purpose.

Under current UK law, motorists are liable for up to a £2,500 fine for each illegal tyre on their car, plus three points on their licence. This translates to a potential fine of £10,000 and a driving ban if all-four tyres are found to be illegal.

How to maintain the tyres on your vehicle

Stopping distance infographic

There's a number of steps you can take to ensure your tyres are safe and legal, while simultaneously extending their working life:

  1. Monitoring the tread depth is essential for your safety. The legal minimum is 1.6mm, although we recommend replacing your tyres at the 3mm mark.
  2. Visually check your tyres on a regular basis for any premature wear or cracks in the tread. If you find something like a nail in the tread, we recommend getting the tyre inspected by your nearest Evans Halshaw dealership as soon as possible.
  3. It's important to monitor your vehicle's tyre pressures to ensure they don't drop below the manufacturer's requirements. Your vehicle's handbook will be able to tell you what pressure the tyres should be at. 

How to check the tread depth of your tyres

If you have a depth gauge, then the process is simple enough. If you don't, then there is the 20p test. Simply stick a 20p coin into various grooves around the tyre; if you can see the outer band of the coin at any point, then tyre depth may be below the minimum limit.

If you aren't confident checking your own tyres, or you find something wrong with them, then your local Evans Halshaw retailer will be more than happy to assist you where required and offer useful advice.