Every driver should know and anyone who watches the F1 Grand Prix will know the importance of tyres, yet according to UK tyre retailer HiC about 42% of the tyres that they see getting changed are illegal.
The illegal faults noted include excessive wear, flat spots, cuts, impact damage and camber wear due to incorrect pressures or balance.
Car Insurance blog’s local KwikFit manager confirmed the statistics and pointed out that this was an example of how the recession was putting peoples lives at risk. He said that both sales volumes were down and most of the tyres they changed were either near the limit or beyond it. He also pointed out that it wasn’t just drivers of old bangers that were culpable but illegal tyres were common across the complete range of vehicles they saw.
In the UK the minimum legal tread is 1.6mm which must exist across 75% of the tyre surface. 1.6 mm is approximately equivalent to the edge of a pound coin.
It is illegal under the Road Traffic Act to drive with a bald tyre, one of which will get you three points on your licence and a fine. If you are caught with four bald tyres then you can expect an instant ban and a fine of anything up to £2500.
It is also a condition of all motor insurance policies that the insured vehicle is kept in a legal and roadworthy condition for cover to be effective, so clearly there are thousands of people driving around in the UK whose car insurance is invalidated by the state of their tyres. In the event of an accident or a claim many people could be in for a nasty shock!