Checking your tyre tread

By David Sholicar

We all know that having sufficient tread on our tyres is important, but how many of us really understand why?

checking tyre tread

As your tyres are the only contact between the road and your vehicle, making sure that they are at their best is one vital way to protect yourself and your passengers against accidents. Apart from the worry that a worn tyre could blow out at any time, they also affect your stopping distance.
For example, a tyre tread of 1.6mm means that it will take a car travelling at 50 miles per hour double the amount of time to stop in wet weather conditions than if the tread was at an optimum level. It also means your tyres are roughly half as effective and therefore your brakes too.

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Not only that, but having tyre tread below the legal limit can mean you fail your MOT, or even face a fine of £2,500 per tyre and three points on your licence. If all of your tyres are worn below the legal limit, you could risk losing your licence completely.
Clearly, it is not worth risking having worn tyres, either for your bank balance or, more importantly, your life! Our years of experience in fitting tyres have shown us that it is always better to be safe than sorry and our tyre professionals will always be happy to advise you on correct tread levels.

Still unsure whether your tyres need changing?

Why not book a Free Tyre Check and get a professional's opinion? Protyre offer Free Tyre Checks at all of our garages across the UK. Click the button below to book your vehicle in:

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Currently, for cars across the UK and Europe, tyre tread depths for the middle three quarters of the tyre must be at least 1.6mm. However, we recommend at least 3mm as the optimum depth. Anything below this and you are risking an accident, especially in wet weather, as your grip on the road will be affected.
So, how can you best check the depth of your tyre tread, to ensure that your vehicle is not only legal but safe to drive, especially when planning long journeys?
Luckily, there are a few ways in which you can check this for yourself at home. One common and popular way to do this is to use a 20 pence piece. You can simply take the coin and try to insert it into the tyre grooves, in the middle of the tyre. If when you do this, the raised border of the coin is not visible, then your tyres will likely be 3mm or more, the optimum depth. However, if when you do this you can see the border of the coin then you should get your tyres properly checked over by an expert.
It is better to buy a relatively inexpensive tyre depth gauge which can accurately measure the tread depth. This can be kept in the glove box and used every now and again to give you peace of mind.
Of course, you should also keep an eye out for any general wear and tear on your tyres, in addition to keeping them at the correct pressure.
If you’re unsure about any aspect of your tyres or checking tyre tread, we can offer expert advice and competitive pricing on replacement tyres from leading manufacturers including Pirelli and Bridgestone. Why not get in touch with your local Protyre experts today to book a free tyre check.

We Can Help You Choose The Right Tyre

Tyres are essential for keeping your car safe and performing at its best, but with so many options out there, it can be tough to know where to start. That's where our informative articles come in – we're here to help you navigate the world of tyres and make the best choice for your specific needs.

Whether you're considering upgrading to Premium car tyres for enhanced driving dynamics, run flat car tyres for added peace of mind, or trying to decide between summer car tyres and winter car tyres, Protyre can help. Our articles have got you covered with a wide range of tyre-related topics to help you make informed decisions.

The brand you choose matters too. We offer recommendations for trusted names such as BF Goodrich tyres, Bridgestone tyres, Continental tyres, Dunlop tyres, Falken tyres, General tyres, Goodyear tyres, GT Radial tyres , Hankook tyres, Michelin tyres, Pirelli tyres, Runway tyres, Sumitomo tyres, and Toyo tyres. But our articles don't just focus on choosing the right tyres – we also offer practical advice for maintaining them. From simple tips like checking your tread depth and keeping your tyres inflated to the proper pressure, to more advanced topics like extending tyre life through regular rotation and balancing - we've got you covered!
Dive in and discover everything you need to know to keep your car running smoothly and safely with Protyre.

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About the author

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By David Sholicar
David is the National Retail Operations Manager for Protyre. One of David’s areas of responsibility and expertise is dealing with the DVSA and MOT’s for Protyre. As the Authorised Examiner Designate Manager ( AEDM ) David deals with applications for changes to the many Vehicle Testing Stations ( VTS’s) including managing the growth of the Number of MOT testing stations that Protyre operate, allocating MOT tester roles, and monitoring the MOT Test logs to ensure that Protyre MOT standards are maintained as the best in the industry.
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