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The legal minimum tyre tread depth

Rules and regulations


In the UK, cars MUST have a tread depth of at least 1.6 mm across the central three-quarters of the tread and around the entire circumference of the tyre. It’s the law.

You should check your tyre tread and pressures at least once a month.

Obviously, for safety it’s always best to replace your tyres well before they reach the legal minimum - most manufacturers and safety experts recommend 3mm.

If your tyres are worn you won’t have the same grip on the road, especially in wet weather with potentially dangerous consequences.

Tyre tread will come up on your show me, tell questions in the practical driving test - make sure you know your stuff!

Check your tyre tread depth by using a 20p coin


You can see if your tyres are close to the 1.6mm legal tread depth by using a 20p coin.

If you can see the outer rim of the coin, then the tyre is approaching the legal minimum tread depth and you should consider replacing it.


Check your tyres regularly
If you're caught driving with worn tyres you could face 3 points on your licence and a £2,500 fine for EACH worn tyre!


Jess passed her test first time at 17 and took to the busy London streets in a battered but beloved 1988 white Fiat Uno. She writes for ingenie's Young Driver's Guide and blog. You can follow Jess on .