New survey reveals lack of knowledge amongst British drivers when it comes to tyre maintenance


According to a new survey, many motorists in the UK have little or no knowledge when it comes to tyre maintenance, something that could land you in hot water.

The survey found that over two-thirds of drivers in the UK have no idea what the legal minimum tyre depth is and as a result could be putting themselves at risk of a fine as high as £2,500, plus points on their licence.

The legal tyre depth limit in the UK is 1.6mm of tread over the central three-quarters of the tyre.

Motorists pulled over by the police can be handed a fine anywhere up to £2,500 for having one tyre that’s unsafe to drive on, as well as receiving three penalty points – so to be found with four threadbare tyres could see you out of pocket by £10,000 and 12 points on your licence too, which equates to an immediate driving ban.

New survey reveals lack of knowledge amongst British drivers when it comes to tyre maintenance

Motorists advised to check their tyres in order to escape hefty fines and penalty points © Copyright Alan Murray-Rust and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


The survey also discovered that 20% of motorists never carry out simple maintenance checks on their vehicle, such as checking oil levels, or whether a bulb needs replacing.

Research was carried out by, who found that motorists graded their ability to deal with such checks at five out of 10.

Alarmingly, one out of three drivers have either broken down or been unable to start their car because of a flat battery, yet despite this, one out of five people questioned as part of the survey, who described their mechanical know-how at four out of 10 or worse, admitted to not having breakdown cover.

Also revealed during the survey was the fact that only three quarters of motorists actually have a spare wheel in their vehicle AND out of these drivers, a staggering 63% have no idea how to change a tyre.

According to the DVLA, over half of the issues found during an MoT test could be avoided if a simple home maintenance check was carried out on a regular basis.

Digital Marketing Executive from, Jack Underwood, said: “It’s important to make sure you complete maintenance checks before a long journey. Not only can you save yourself time and money with proper maintenance, but making sure to regularly check your tyre tread can help you avoid a three-point penalty and £2,500 in fines.”

There’s a number of ways in which you can check the tread on your tyres at home. One is by using a 20p coin as a tester. Simply place the coin into the tread groove on each wheel of your car. If you are unable to see the outer band on the 20p coin, your tyre is above the legal limit. If the band is visible, you must have that tyre replaced immediately – don’t risk driving around with it.

Tread depth gauges are specifically designed rulers that provide precise measurements of your tyre tread and can be purchased for as little as £9.99.

If you’re still unsure about checking them yourself, take your car to a local mechanic who will be more than happy to check the tread for you.


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