Tyre Tread & Law


The size of your tyre ‘footprint’ on the road is about the size of a postcard. Therefore having the right tyres, with the correct tread and pressure, is vitally important as they are your vehicles only contact with the road surface. The more tread, the better the grip on the road, whatever your speed or weather conditions.

The legal minimum tread depth for cars in the UK is 1.6mm throughout a continuous band comprising the central three-quarters of breadth of the tread and around its entire outer. Drivers whose tyres fail to comply with the minimum tread depth requirements risk a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.

The 20p Test

A quick and easy way to see if your tyre tread exceed the minimum legal tread depth is to take the 20p test. Simply place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outer band of the 20p coin is obscured when it is inserted, then your tread is above the legal limit. If the outer band of the coin is visible, then your tyres may be illegal and unsafe and should be checked immediately by a qualified tyre professional.

When taking the test, remember to check at least three locations around each tyre. As the test is so quick and easy, stay safe by checking your tyres at least once a month.

For more information on tyre safety please visit www.tyresafe.org


Tyre Tread

Tyre Tread


This information is intended for guidance only.