Third of drivers don’t know how to check tyre tread, research suggests


Over a third of UK drivers (40%) cannot confidently carry out a tyre tread check according to new research by eBay.

More than half (53%) of 18-34 year olds don’t know how to check that their tyre tread is within the legal limit.

Older generations also lack confidence with this straightforward but important safety check, with more than a third of 35-54 year-olds revealing the same knowledge gap.

Cars, vans and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) legally require a minimum depth of 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre and around the entire circumference, although most vehicle manufacturers suggest replacing the tyres when they reach 3mm of tread.

According to Department for Transport records, in 2021, illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres caused 491 casualties and 12 deaths in the UK.

Drivers caught with illegal tyres risk being hit with a £2,500 fine and three penalty points per tyre.

More than a third (33%) of UK drivers don’t feel confident carrying out basic car checks and repairs, with 63% wanting to gain more knowledge.

Expert mechanic and eBay customer, Hannah Gordon said: “It’s concerning to know the number of drivers who aren’t sure how to check tyre tread depth.

“It’s one of the most important checks you can make; low tyre tread depth increases stopping distances and at worst, could result in a serious accident.

“Checking tyre tread depth is so easy, simply take a 20p coin and insert it into the grooves – if you can see the outer band on the coin, you need new tyres.”

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