It‘s important for drivers to be aware what the UK’s legal tyre tread depth limit is in order to legally drive on the UK’s roads. Checking the tread depth regularly can help you to make sure your tyres are legal and safe for you to have on the road.

What is the Legal Tread Limit for Tyres?

According to UK tyre law, the tread depth of your tyres starts off with about 8MM worth of tread and cannot go below 1.6MM and still be used legally on the road. The tread pattern must be above this limit across its entire circumference.

Having proper tread depth allows your tyres to grip the road surface safely as you drive, giving you better performance and safety. It also helps to disperse any water which may be on the road surface so that you can drive safely. We recommend that you change your tyres when you hit 3mm to be on the safe side.

How to Measure Tyre Tread Depth

Checking your tread depth is quick and easy to do and it’s something you should perform regularly. Take a look at each tyre and look at the largest grooves. You’ll see that there are small raised bumps in the bottom of the grooves at certain intervals on the tyre. These are tread wear indicators and will help to give you an idea of how much life is left in your tyre.

There’s also the famous 20p test – the border around the edge of the coin is around 1.6mm. You can place this into your tyre to measure your tread depth to determine if it is above or below the legal limit.

How Many Points Would I Get for a Bald Tyre?

Based on the Road Traffic Act 1988, it’s illegal to use a vehicle which isn’t roadworthy. Tyres which are below the 1.6MM legal limit are classed as illegal and the penalties can be very serious, including a fine of up to £2,500, three penalty points on your license for each worn tyre or a potential indefinite ban from driving.

For your safety and that of others, it is never worth the risk of driving below the legal limit. You should get your tyre replaced immediately if you find that your tyres are under the legal limit.

How Long do Tyres Last?

There is no set answer to this question as a great deal depends on the type of driving you do, the surfaces you are driving on, the speed you travel at, the weight in your vehicle and many other factors. Generally, you should expect front tyres to last for about 20,000 miles while rear tyres get longer use at about 40,000 miles. Of course, this is a guide and shouldn’t be taken as gospel.

It’s always a good idea to check your tyre tread depth and when the treads start to get low to about 2.0MM you should consider replacing them.

Our Service

With our mobile tyre fitting service, it’s quick and convenient to get a replacement. Simply place your order online, choose a location of your choice, and park your vehicle in a secure location. One of our experts will perform a free fitting, which includes a 2.5% discount if you’re an AA Member.

Make a Booking

If you buy your tyres from us, one of our tyre fitters will come to you at a time and place that is convenient and fit your new tyres free of charge making sure that they’re perfectly balanced and at the correct pressure so that you’re ready to go upon completion. We can even check your other tyres for you while we’re there and we’ll also send you a reminder at a later date when your tyre tread is likely to be getting low.

Book a fitting online now