The legal minimum tyre tread limit is 1.6mm - even if one part of the wheel falls below that you have an issue. Tyre treads are specifically designed to give grip on various road conditions. Naturally this decreases over time as a tyre wears down. Drivers need to be vigilant with their tyre tread by giving them regular checks. If a tyre tread falls below the legal limit you can be fined up to £2500 and 3 penalty points for each illegal tyre.

How To Check: The 20p Tyre Tread Test

A quick and easy way to see if your tyre tread exceed the minimum legal tread depth is to take the 20p test.

Get a 20p coin, then place it 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 or indeed the entire coin is visible, then your tyres may be illegal and unsafe and should be checked immediately by a qualified 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.

Maintaining the correct tyre pressure will help to extend the life of your tyres, improve safety, and ensure consitent fuel efficiency.

How To Check Your Tyre Pressure

To test your tyre pressure, you need an accurate pressure gauge (which you can buy, or find at most petrol stations). Take off the dust cap on the valve, affix the pressure gauge and take a note of the result. If your tyre needs extra air, you should inflate it using an air pump (again you can buy one to use at home or just go to a petrol station).

Why Check Your Tyre Pressure

There's some compelling reasons why maintaining the proper tyre pressure is important:

Tyre Lifespan

A tyre's life-span may be dramatically decreased even if a little under-inflated. Tyres that wear away faster on the outer edges can be a sign of under-inflation wearing out fast on the outer edges, this can be an early indication of possible under-inflation. If you find this is happening resolve the issue as soon as possible otherwise you will find they could become illegal.

Vehicle Safety

A tyre has a higher chance of blowing out when under-inflated. It happens because there is insufficient air to hold the vehicles weight, and when the weight presses down on the tyre, it causes the tyre to flex which builds up heat. Too much heat and the tyre pops.

Fuel Efficiency

You use more fuel when when your tyres are over or under-inflated. The yearly cost of running a car these days is pretty high, so make sure your tyres are correctly inflated so you aren't throwing away money needlessly.