How to check your tyre tread

Your tyres must have at least 1.6mm of tread in order to comply with legal requirements. If you drive with tyres that are worn to below this tread depth you have a greater risk of being involved in an accident. Your insurance policy also becomes invalid and if you are caught you may incur a fine.

It is very easy to check the tread depth of your tyres, and by following the steps below you can do it anywhere at any time:

  • To make it easier to access the tyre you are measuring, turn the wheel to angle the wheel outwards. For example, if you are starting with the tyres on the left side you should turn the wheel anti-clockwise.
  • Take tread depth readings at several points across the width of the tyre, including both edges and the centre. There should also be some tread depth indicators which give you an instant idea of how worn the tyre is.
  • Using a tyre tread depth gauge or a tape measure is ideal. However you can use a 20p coin too – if you insert the coin into the tread and the outer rim of the coin is on show, this is an indication that your tread depth is too low.
  • While you are looking at your tyres, take the opportunity to check that the level of wear is even across the tyre. If not, it can be a sign of over or under inflation. You should also be vigilant for signs of damage to the tyre such as bulges or tears.

If the tread depth on any of your tyres is less than 1.6mm you need to have it replaced. At Wessex Garages we supply and fit a wide range of tyres at competitive prices and you can contact your nearest dealership to find out more.