What is the Legal Tread Depth on Tyres in the UK (on vehicles under 3.5 tonnes GVW)?



We went out to change a couple of rear tyres on a 3 Series BMW in Hook, the customer had called the office and said his tyres were due for replacement on his BMW as they were close to the legal limit… when we got to the job we found the above!

Running your vehicle on bald tyres like this can be extremely dangerous to both you and other drivers on the road.

When your tread depths are below 3mm the way they perform is seriously affected, your braking distances are increased and you will have a lot less grip on the road.

These effects are even more apparent at this time of year with the current weather conditions, the roads can be wet and icy. A correct amount of tread means the grooves in the tread and tread blocks need to be deep enough to efficiently disperse water to prevent aquaplaning.

Aquaplaning is where the water fills the grooves and is unable to disperse, this has the effect of putting a thin film of water between the road surface and the tyre. This then loses grip and causes the wheel to spin in an uncontrolled manner.

The MINIMUM tread depth on vehicles less than 3.5 tonnes is 1.6mm, across the central 3/4 of the tread area and in an entire circumference of the tyre. If you are stopped by the police and found to have tyres that fail to meet the legal criteria you could be faced with some or all of the following

  • 3 Points on your licence per tyre
  • Maximum fine of £2,500 per tyre
  • Potential Insurance Increase

Driving with tyres like this on the road is simply not worth the risk, for more information on how to check your tyres click here and if you think you may be in need of a replacement, call Hometyre today on 0333 444 5454.


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