Don’t mean to sound alarmist, but many motorists are clueless when it comes to knowing the ins and outs of car tyre legality. It’s no surprise – many of us are guilty of sitting in our cars, treating them as sealed cocoons, not really thinking much about the maintenance and responsibilities that need attending to on the outside of the vehicle.
Making sure your car is road worthy is not only common sense for your safety and that of other road users and pedestrians, if you are involved in an accident, worn tyres may implicate you and invalidate insurance cover.
Tyres with insufficient tread cause braking distances to be increased and traction compromised – both elements that could be influential in an accident or collision situation. If you are pulled over and checked by police and found to have incorrectly inflated tyres or worn treads, you are likely to receive a fine or worse.
Why not avoid these potential headaches by having a quick briefing on tyres? Let’s address the issue and delve into the detail of these mysterious rubber road-huggers, so we can demonstrate 100 per cent compliance with all legal and safety angles.
The law demands vehicles driving on UK roads should have the correct size and type of tyre fitted. Tyres should have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm and should be inflated to the correct pressure according to the vehicle’s recommended specifications. In some cases, fines of up to £2500 can be levied against offending car owners and three penalty points per wheel can be chalked up.
And there’s more…
As well as safety and legal repercussions, there are solid economical reasons for travelling on well-maintained tyres. Fuel consumption on correctly inflated tyres is much improved and CO2 emissions also tumble.
Check the tread on your tyres with a specialist gauge to ensure the 1.6mm depth. Alternatively, a 20p piece is a quick way of measuring – simply hold it in the groove in the centre of the tyre tread using the outer banner on the coin as a guide. If the coin doesn’t penetrate deep enough into the tread, then it’s illegal.
Having discovered your car is running on four illegal tyres, what can you do? Any trip to the garage runs a safety risk as well as the possibility of being fined if stopped. Don’t panic because there’s an easy and trouble free solution. For mobile tyre fitters Oxford in the south east of England is a great place to begin your tyre search. As an online business and supplier of a wide range of competitively priced tyres for all marques, they are able to source the correct model quickly and then come to you at home to switch over and fit new tyres. If you are close to the City of Dreaming Spires and need tyres in a hurry for mobile tyre fitters Oxford and the surrounding area is well served.
Bear in mind that although the legal limit for tyre tread is 1.6mm, it is advisable to replace them before they get this worn. At any depth less than 3mm, water displacement is reduced and in turn handling and breaking distances can be adversely effected.
Keeping your tyres properly inflated at the correct pressure makes them handle better, last longer and improves fuel consumption. Most petrol stations will have an air line you can use to inflate tyres. Some models are digital and easy to read, others are a little less user- friendly. All cars have a sticker on the interior door frame indicating the correct pressure for the vehicle. Front and rear tyres need different pressures and the sticker will detail this information – if in doubt consult the handbook for further clarification.
Ongoing maintenance of tyres is essential – keep a look out for bulges, tears or excessively worn patches. Areas where tread is more eroded than others may indicate an alignment or wheel balancing issue that needs addressing.
Now you have all the information you need to make sure your car tyres are legal and safe. And remember that next time you need your tyres changing, nothing is more straightforward, convenient and reassuring than getting professional mobile fitters to come and do the job. Follow the tips in this article and enjoy happy motoring on the right side of the law with tyres in tip-top condition…