TYRES AND THE LAW

Tyres must be fit for purpose, free from any defects and correctly inflated to the recommended pressure. 

In the eyes of the law, fit for purpose means that a tyre must be:

  • compatible with the types of tyres fitted to the other wheels
  • free of any lump, bulge or tear caused by separation or partial failure of the structure
  • free of any cut or tear in excess of 25mm or 10% of the sectional width of the tyre, whichever is the greater, and which is deep enough to reach the ply or cord without any part of the ply or cord exposed

Tyres must also have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread depth across the central three-quarters of the tyre’s width in a continuous band around the entire circumference.

FINES AND MOT FAILURE

A vehicle with any of these faults or fitted with tyres of different nominal size or aspect ratio on the same axle is liable to fail the MOT test.

Motorists who drive on illegal or defective tyres can be fined. A police officer may issue a fixed penalty notice or report the case for prosecution, where the court can impose a fine of up to £2,500 for each illegal tyre.

The driver also faces three penalty points, so if all four are deemed illegal, the driver could receive 12 penalty points on his license and immediate disqualification.

Related pages

Tyre Life

Read more

Tread Depth

Read more

Tyre Pressure

Read more

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