You need good tyres to drive safely.
They are your only contact with the road and
affect the steering, braking and acceleration of your vehicle.
Here you will find out about the legal
requirements and the precautions you should take to ensure that the
tyres on your vehicle are safe.
What your tyres do
Your tyres, each with a contact patch on the
road of about the size of a large footprint, have to provide ALL of the
They also improve comfort whilst carrying the
weight of the vehicle. If you look after them, they will work more
reliably and last longer. Neglecting them could be expensive in the long
run and could even cost you your life.
Every new car type tyre must meet European
standards for load/speed performance and be marked on the sidewall with
E or e.
The legal minimum tread depth of the main
grooves of car and similar tyres in the United Kingdom is 1.6mm. This
applies across the central three quarters of the breadth of tread and
round the entire outer circumference of the tyre.
Most car type tyres have tread wear indicators,
usually at least six small ribs across the bottom of the main tread
grooves, and when the tread surface becomes level with these ribs the
tyre is at the legal limit and must be replaced.
Simple and cheap gauges are also available to give an acceptable
guide to tread depth.
The 1.6mm minimum limit
- cars and passenger vehicles with up to 8
seated passengers - not including the driver
- Motor vehicles & light trailers
(including caravans) up to 3500Kg gross vehicle weight
The only part of a tyre to wear away in normal
use is the tread and it makes both economic and ecological sense to give
a new lease of life to an otherwise good tyre, by what is now generally
known as retreading.
All retread tyres supplied in the United
Kingdom must comply with the British Standard for retreaded tyres, BS AU
144e, and must be marked with the Standard number. (Certain foreign made
tyres may be acceptable if of an equivalent standard).
The British Standard requires strict
examination and inspection of retreaded tyres at all stages and they
must meet the same load/speed performance standards as new tyres.
The tyre debris, often seen at the roadside,
does not necessarily come from retreaded tyres and is mainly the result
of under inflation or overloading.
Retreaded tyres are used extensively on
aircraft and in motoring competition.
There are many dangers in buying part-worn or
'second-hand' tyres. Their history is unknown and they may have been
involved in an accident or have been badly damaged by 'kerbing' or
similar problems. Repairs may not have been carried out properly, for
example to British Standards BS AU 159f.
Regulations require a part-worn tyre to be
marked 'PART-WORN' adjacent to the E, e or BS mark, to indicate that it
has been properly examined internally and externally before being
offered for sale. Some faults only show up if the tyre has been
Tread depth must be at least 2 mm across the
whole breadth of tread.
Mixing of tyres
Except in the case of temporary use spare tyres,
it is illegal in the United Kingdom, and it is certainly dangerous, to
mix radial ply and cross ply tyres on the same axle or to have radial
ply tyres on the front axle and cross ply tyres on the rear axle. This
applies to all two axle motor vehicles whether front or rear wheel
drive. The type of tyre is indicated on the sidewall markings. In the
case of radial ply tyres, the letter 'R' is part of the tyre size
marking as in the example below, and in addition the word 'Radial' may
be shown on the sidewall.
175/65 R 14 82T
Correct tyre pressures are vital for safe
handling and optimum braking, grip and tyre life.
- Low tyre pressures or overloading will cause
increased fuel consumption, more air pollution, shorter tyre life
and greater risk of tyre failure.
- High tyre pressures may cause reduced
comfort, less grip, greater risk of impact tyre damage and reduced
stability in braking and cornering.
Pressures should be checked at least every two
weeks and only when the tyres are cold. Even a short trip to the local
garage will warm up the tyre and raise the pressure. Accurate and
reliable gauges are not expensive and will soon pay back their cost.
Recommended pressures may vary according to
load or speed. Look in the vehicle handbook, or consult your garage or
Your vehicle data
* Pressure Normal
* Pressure heavy load/high speed
* Pressure Normal __________________
* Pressure heavy load/speed
* See vehicle handbook or ask your
garage or tyre dealer
The penalties for offences related to
the use of faulty tyres on vehicles are very severe.
In the case of any vehicle, except
goods vehicles and vehicles adapted to carry more than eight passengers,
for every offence there is a fine at level 4 of the standard scale with
discretionary disqualification and compulsory driving licence
endorsement with 3 penalty points.
Level 4 is currently £2500 and each
faulty tyre is considered as a separate offence. Two faulty tyres
Offences can relate to:
Tread depth: a tyre
worn below the legal minimum.
Mixing: an incorrect
mixture of radial and cross ply tyres
Inflation: a tyre not
inflated to make it suitable for the purpose to which the motor vehicle
or trailer is being put.
Cuts: certain long
and deep cuts as specified in regulations
Lumps, bulges or tears:
caused by separation or partial failure of the tyre structure.
Exposed ply or cord
the use to which the motor vehicle or trailer is being put or to the
types of tyres fitted to its other wheels.
We welcome new customers from the
local area Cobham Byfleet West Byfleet Addlestone Chertsey Esher Weybridge
Walton on Thames Ripley Woking and the surrounding area.