Is Your Car Tyred Out?

Posted on: 01 August 2008 by Gareth Hargreaves

A tyre safety survey reveals 60 per cent of people are unlikely to check tyre age and 45 per cent don't know the minimum legal tread depth.

Up to three million UK motorists could be risking tyre problems this summer by not checking the age and condition of their tyres.

That's the message from the RAC Foundation which is running a tyre safety campaign urging drivers of low-mileage vehicles to get their tyres inspected. 

Research carried out for the Foundation reveals that although nine out of ten drivers understand the link between tyre age and road safety, up to three million do not. 

Furthermore, six out of ten say they are unlikely to check vital tyre age information contained on the sidewall of the tyre.

Normal use tyres will be replaced long before ageing becomes an issue, but owners of low-mileage cars, vintage and classic models, caravans, motor homes and trailers need to be aware of the risk of tyre fatigue.

The spare tyre is also at risk of age-related deterioration, as it is often unused even though other tyres may have been replaced over the years.

Simplifying the checking process could be one answer to the problem, as seven out of ten motorists say they would like to see the current age coding system replaced by an easy-to-read 'year of manufacture' date on the tyre.

Another cause for concern is that 45 per cent of drivers questioned do not know the minimum legal tread depth for car tyres of 1.6mm. Among female drivers, this figure rises to 60 per cent.

Look Out For The Danger Signs On Your Tyres

  • Cracks or crazing on the sidewall
  • Tread separation, cracks or bulges
  • Deformation of the tyre carcass
  • Discolouration and fading of the rubber

Motorists can take advantage of free tyre inspections at more than 2,700 National Tyre Distribution Centres (NTDA) member centres across the UK, listed on

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