4 ways to check your Tyre Tread Depth

Your tyres are the only contact between your vehicle and the road meaning that regular checks are important for your safety.

When tyres are new they have approximately 8mm of tread. The legal limit for tyre tread is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre. The tread must meet this minimum requirement around its complete circumference. We recommend looking to replace your tyres when the tread is around 3mm.

Overly worn tyres are dangerous. The grooves of a tyre help to channel water away creating constant contact with the road but only when they have sufficient depth. On a bald tyre it is harder to both start and stop your vehicle. Bald tyres are also more easily punctured. 

If caught with tyre treads below the legal limit you risk a fine of £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre. So if all four tyres are worn below the legal limit you could face a fine of £10,000 and potentially lose your licence.  

1. The 20p Check

The border around the outside edge of a 20 pence piece is approximately 1.6mm.
Place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outer border is hidden when it is inserted then your tread is above the legal limit. If you can see the outer border of the coin, then the tyre is either approaching the legal minimum tread depth or has already reached it and requires replacement. 

2. Tread Depth Gauge

Tread Depth gauges are purpose made tools that quickly measure the depth of an individual tyre groove. They are easy to use and only cost a few pounds. Line the gauge up over a groove in your tyre and push the centre between the tread. 

3. Tyre Tread Wear Indicators

Tread wear indicators are moulded into the tread grooves at regular intervals around the tyre. If the tyre is flush with the bars it indicates that it is below the minimum legal limit.

4. Come to John Delany Motors

Stuart, our full-time tyre fitter & adviser will happily check your tyre treads free of charge. We’ll give you an honest measurement and advise you of when your tyres may need replacing dependant on your own mileage. We can even set up reminders to text or email you when your tyres may be due another check. 

If you need assistance with anything else, check out the complete range of our services