What is the new tyre tread depth?

A worrying percentage of vehicle owners are not entirely aware of the condition of their vehicle's tyres, being surprised with a sudden flat tyre at the worst possible moment.


These issues are generally uncovered during annual MOT checks, where owners discover that there is an underlying issue, resulting in unexpected and unwelcome expenditure.
 
Despite the cost, the importance of tyre condition is paramount in ensuring the vehicle's safety on the road and should, therefore, be considered as crucial in protecting the driver, occupants and others on the road.
 
Our tyre professionals recommend regular inspection of your tyres for any damage, reduction in tread depth and for adequate inflation.
 

What does the law say?

Every new tyre manufactured for use in the UK market must meet the requirement of 8mm tread depth when new. This tread depth does, however, reduce over the lifetime of the tyre, explaining the need for checks and replacement. In ideal circumstances, tyres with a tread depth of 2mm should be replaced urgently, with 1.6mm being the absolute minimum required by UK law. The minimum tread depth must be present across three-quarters of the width of the tyre.
 
There are significant implications for safety. At 50 mph, a tyre with a 3mm tread will stop 8 metres prior to one with 1.6mm of tread on the road in wet driving conditions. Those 8 metres could make the difference between a close call and a collision with another driver or a pedestrian.
 

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Why you should check your tyres

It follows that the extra tread depth provides increased grip on the road. As we have seen above, this is particularly important in wet conditions, where greater tread depths can help to reduce and even prevent the risk of aquaplaning whilst in motion.
 
After inspection, you may consider that your tyres seem to have sufficient tread. However, don't stop there; it is essential to perform other checks such as ensuring that they are correctly inflated.
 
If the tyre pressure is too low, then the contact made by the wheel with the road will increase. This can increase general wear and seriously damages the tyre's sidewall, increasing the risk of a blowout. Moreover, under-inflation will result in reduced fuel efficiency and inconsistencies in handling.
 

Where can I get my tyres checked professionally?

If you feel that your tyres may be coming to the end of their lifecycle, don’t hesitate to get them checked to protect yourself and others on the road. We offer a wide range of tyres from manufacturers such as Pirelli, Falken, Sumitomo and Bridgestone, all at extremely competitive prices. 


With over 100 local Protyre garages across the UK, our qualified technicians will be more than happy to assist with the assessment and replacement of any tyres deemed unsuitable for use.

Free Tyre Checks are available when you call into any of our garages within our expading UK network where our expert technicians will inspect for tread depth, pressure, wear and damage.

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About the author

Tom Boote

Tom has over 5 years’ digital marketing experience within the automotive industry in both B2B and B2C environments. Through this, Tom has honed his skills in digital communications, marketing, branding and web content management.  At Protyre, Tom is responsible for creating engaging and informative content across the website that provides consumers with expert advice on MOTs, servicing, vehicle maintenance and tyre care. As a motorsport enthusiast, Tom enjoys documenting the Protyre Motorsport team’s involvement in major motorsport events across the UK.

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