A Guide to Checking Your Tyres are Legal

7th December, 2020
A Guide to Checking Your Tyres are Legal

Are you certain your tyres are legal for the road? This post will help you understand what determines safe, legal tyres and what could be illegal, unsafe and invalidate your insurance policy.

Driving without legal tyres puts you at risk of receiving a fine, and the condition of your tyres is vital for a number of reasons. They are the only part of the vehicle that has contact with the road and they have a huge responsibility for traction against the road and braking distance.

The key criteria for whether your tyres are legal for UK roads are as follows:

  • Your vehicle is fitted with the correct tyre size and type.
  • The tyres all have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm.
  • The tyres are all inflated to the recommended tyre pressure.

Providing all your tyres meet these standards, you can ensure your tyres are safe and legal for the roads.

This criteria for your tyres matters as the consequences can result in fines, points on your licence and more. Not only this, but failing to ensure your tyres are in the best condition can have affect on comfort, stability and handling. Tyres in bad condition can also impact how much fuel your vehicle uses. This means you could be spending more on fuel than necessary.

Checking Tyre Pressure

Moving on, it’s important to ensure your tyre pressure meets the recommend level for your vehicle, as we’ve discussed above. On many vehicles, you can check the pressure via a sticker often found within the drivers’ car door. You can then use a petrol station where tyre pressure machines are either free or low-cost to use. These machines are often simple to use and instructions are displayed on the machine themselves.

Checking Tyre Tread Depth

As mentioned above, the tyre tread depth plays a huge role in knowing if your tyres are legal. To check the tread depth on your tyres, place a 20p within the tyre grooves. Next, take a look the coin and if the outer banner of the twenty pence piece isn’t visible, your tyres are road legal. And while the legal limit is 1.6mm, your tyres can actually experience lack of efficiency below 3mm.

General Condition of Tyres

Finally, not only does the tread depth and tyre pressure matter; but you should look out for any signs of wear, damage, tears etc. Checking the overall condition of your vehicles tyres on a regular basis means you can avoid tyre problems and prevent them earlier on.

By making the checks above, you can ensure your vehicle has tyres that are legal and in good condition. To summarise; tyre pressure, tread depth and checking for general damage and wear are the key factors to legal and safe tyres.


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