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Tyre Tread Depth, Do You Know Your Limit?

30th May 2018 | Mike Lamb

Driving is expensive in general, if it isn't fuel prices which feel like they haven't stopped increasing for at least a decade, it's sundry expenses caused by wear and tear to our cars. Whether that be parts which have worn out over time or the focal point for this article, tyres.

Depending on what car you drive, "good" tyres can be expensive - ranging in price from £80 to £300 per tyre in most cases (this of course depends on your brand choice and the quality of tyre you are purchasing. What you may not realise though is that tyres can be a lot more expensive if you don't know the legal limit of tread depth on road going vehicles.

The legal minimum tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm, I don't know about you but personally I don't carry a tread depth gauge around with me. One thing I do always carry with me is a 20p piece, which does exactly the same job. By using the outer band of the 20p (as shown below) you can roughly gauge your tread depth.


If the outer band of the coin disappears into your tyre tread then you have above the minimum 1.6mm of tread and don't need to worry, if the outer band of the coin is still visible when placed within the tread then you may wish to visit your local tyre fitter. Admittedly, this could turn into an expensive trip however, if you don't make the journey to get your tyres checked, life could get a whole lot more expensive.

If you are stopped by Police and your tread is below the legal tolerance you could be hit with a fine of up to £2,500 and up to 3 penalty points....per tyre! So, in short: keep an eye on your tread depth otherwise it could cost you your licence and also up to £10,000.

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