Riviera Insurance Logo

What is the bald tyre fine and legal tyre tread limit?

In the UK the minimum tyre tread limit is 1.6mm. However, experts recommend tyres are replaced at 3mm to maintain the best safety. Whilst the bald tyre fine could cost as much as £2500 per tyre. 

What is the legal tyre tread limit?

Tests concluded by MIRA found that stopping distances in cars with tyres where the tread had worn below 3mm were substantially increased. The most significant difference was braking in wet weather, where the stopping increased by 44%.

 What is the fine for driving with a bald tyre in the UK?

According to the DVLA driving with bald tyres in the UK carries the risk of a £2,500 fine and three penalty points should you get stopped by the police. The bald tyre fine is calculated per tyre, so if all four tyres are worn below 1.6mm or are faulty, then you could potentially receive a fine of £10,000 and 12 points on your licence – resulting in a driving ban.

Even the drivers of a commercial vehicle where the van or courier vehicle is owned by a business can face an individual fine, while the business and vehicle owner could also face a fine of up to £20,000. 

Performing regular safety checks on your car, van, or taxi is essential to making sure your tyre tread depth is safe and legal. Tyre treads are especially important in poor weather winter weather conditions.

Why is having bald tyres illegal?

If you drive with tyres that are bald or below the legal limit it is dangerous. Not only do stopping distances increase, but you are also more likely to experience a total tyre failure or blowout.

Longer stopping distances means your breaking is less effective and you are more likely to have an accident, while a tyre blowout, especially at high speed is highly likely to result in an accident.

Failing to keep your tyres within the legal limits can put you, your passengers, and other motorists at risk. It’s the tyre’s tread that enables your car to grip the road, and although slick tyres are okay for a race track, they are highly unsafe for normal driving.

Do bald tyres invalidate my insurance?

Keeping your vehicle well-maintained forms part of the contract between you and the insurance company so having an accident as the result of a poorly maintained vehicle could leave you without financial protection in the event of a claim. In addition to having to pay a bald tyre fine.

There are also additional penalties for drivers who don’t have adequate insurance protection in place.

How can I check my tyre tread?

To avoid a bald tyre fine, use the 20p test. It is a simple, quick and easy way of checking the tyre tread of your car’s wheels. Just take a 20p coin and insert it into the tread grooves on the tyre. If you can’t see the outer band on the coin, your tyres are above the legal limit and wouldn’t be considered bald. 

However, if you can see the band and that section of the coin is still visible, your tyres could be unsafe and require professional inspection by a mechanic.

We depend on our tyres for our safety when driving; it is vital that they are taken care of properly. It is so important to check your tyres regularly otherwise you face putting both yourself, your passengers and other road users at risk.

If you have received penalty points or a fine for driving with faulty  or bald tyres or have been convicted for having no insurance you may need specialist insurance.

Get a quote or request a call back here.