How to check your tyres are safe to drive on

Tyres’ tread depths are how you determine how safe they are to drive on. So what are the risks associated with worn tyres and how do you check them? This blog will hopefully clear up any confusion.

Why should I check them? What are the risks?

It is the car owner’s responsibility to ensure that their tyres are safe and legal to drive on the road, not just for your own safety, but for that of other people too.

If your car tyres are worn, this not only affects the grip they have on the road but also the stopping distance and fuel consumption. Here are the two main risks with worn tyres and those with low thread depth:

Stopping distance – Your stopping distance will increase the lower the tread depth of your tyres. For example; a car travelling at 50mph with 3mm tyres will stop two car lengths before that of a car with 1.6mm tyres.

Aquaplaning – Your tyres can lose contact with the road surface and will instead travel on top of the surface of the water. When this happens you are left unable to brake, steer or accelerate properly which could lead to an accident.

The legal minimum tread depth for cars in the UK is 1.6mm but in accordance with manufacturer guidelines, here at JCT600, we will mark your tyres as red at 3mm.

How do I check my car tyre’s tread depth?

You can check your tyres manually with the ‘20p test’ (explained below) or we can carry out a FREE Tyre Check for you at any of our dealerships.

What is the ‘20p test’?

The ’20p test’ is a quick and easy way to find out if your tyres are exceeding the minimum legal tread depth of 1.6mm.

Simply take a 20p and place it into the main tread groove of your tyre. If the outer band of the 20p is not visible and it slots within the groove, your tread is above the legal limit.

However, if the outer band of the coin is visible, your tyres may be illegal and unsafe to drive.

At this stage, you should have your tyres checked professionally by one of our qualified technicians. We will carry out a FREE Tyre Check at any of our dealerships and confirm next steps.

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