Bald tyres: Every millimetre matters

Bald tyres: Every millimetre matters

12 Jun

By Tom Boote

One of the UK’s biggest and most popular price comparison services have recently conducted a survey identifying more than one in five (21%) UK motorists – equivalent to more than eight million individuals – are driving on dangerous tyres.
 The investigation* conducted by involved spot checks of more than 1,000 vehicles in 10 cities around the country. A fifth of vehicles checked (21%) had at least one tyre with tread below 3mm, which is the point at which major manufactures recommend you change your tyres.
A total of 3% – the equivalent of 1.4M motorists were found to have at least one illegal tyre, falling below the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm. Not only does this significantly increase the chance of accidents, but motorists also risk three penalty points and a fine of £2,500 per tyre.
Worryingly, additional research showed that three fifths (61%) of motorists don’t know what the minimum legal tread depth is, and more than half (55%) don’t know how to check their tyres.
Vehicles in Edinburgh were found to have the highest number of cars with at least one tyre below the recommended tread of 3mm (27%), compared to the national average of 21%), while cars in Newcastle and Ipswich had the highest proportion of vehicles with at least one illegal tyre (both 5%, compared to the national average of 3%).
To address these findings, has launched a ‘Bald is Dangerous’ safety film and FAQ guide to tackle any misconceptions of tyre safety. The tongue-in-cheek campaign video highlights just how devastating the consequences of driving on bald tyres can be.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at, says:
It’s worrying to find so many people are driving with baldies. Even though our safety film is tongue-in-cheek, our research shows there is a serious lack of awareness among some motorists. Tyre tread ignorance could land offenders with fines of up to £2,500 per tyre, invalidate their insurance or lead to an accident. By conducting a few simple checks each month, such as the 20p test, drivers can keep themselves and other motorist’s safe. Driving has become expensive enough as it is, and avoiding unwanted fines should be incentive enough to comply with road safety regulations"
*All figures taken from omnibus research carried out by One Poll on behalf of This was an online poll of 2,000 UK adults who drive (national representative sample). The research was conducted between 27th March and 29th March 2018.

Did you know?

If you are involved in an accident and it’s later revealed that you had bald tyres, your insurer could void your claim and invalidate your policy, as your car would be deemed unroadworthy. Why risk it? Pop into your local centre for a free tyre check

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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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