How often do you check your tyres for pressure and condition, most people admit to not checking their tyres even once a month. Failure to carry out a frequent simple check is not only extremely dangerous but could land you a hefty fine.

If you are stopped by the police for any reason and your tyres are not roadworthy you are likely to incur a fine of £2,500 plus 3 points on your licence for each unsafe tyre, if all four tyres are illegal this could add up to £10,000 and 12 points, resulting in an instant driving ban.

Simply relying on your low tyre pressure indicator to alert you is not enough, if you have lost air over a long period of time the monitor will not pick up on this. It is imperative that your tyres are inspected often and regularly.

The current condition of many roads in the UK is reason enough to inspect your tyres often, even if they are relatively new. The potholes and uneven surfaces can wreak havoc on the rubber, causing splits and uneven tread. Driving with unroadworthy tyres can cause many problems including blowouts, steering issues and braking problems.

UKDPF have put together a list of simple, straightforward checks that all motorists need to do:

Pressure

The pressure for your vehicle’s tyres can be found in the handbook. Most fuel service stations have an air line hose for checking the pressure and inflating if necessary. Portable tyre pressure gauges and inflators are inexpensive and can be useful to keep in your car. This simple check is easy to learn and only takes a few minutes, the correct pressure in your tyres will also improve fuel economy.

Tread

The tread on your tyre is important as this enables your vehicle to grip the road correctly and assist breaking. A new car tyre has approximately 8mm of tread, the legal requirement is a minimum of 1.6mm but most motoring organisations recommend changing your tyres before you get to this level. The tread must be the minimum depth across the central three-quarters of the tyre and over the whole circumference. A tyre tread measure can be purchased for under £5.

Tyre Condition

Inspect your tyres often, if you have hit a pothole or possibly driven over a nail, damage could have been sustained without you being aware of it. Look for any bulges or splits in the rubber, some tyres can be repaired if the damage is not severe.   

Regular maintenance of your tyres will help improve the fuel economy of your vehicle, if a tyre is low on tread and grip or the tyre pressure is incorrect, it will have a negative impact on the rolling resistance meaning more fuel is required to keep it moving. Inadequate pressure in the tyre will also make it wear unevenly making the likelihood of needing a replacement happen sooner rather than later.

Driving with illegal tyres is irresponsible and unsafe, you put both yourself and other road users in danger. There is also the possibility that were you to have an accident your insurance could be deemed invalid as they would consider your vehicle unroadworthy.

It’s worth considering that as winter approaches with wet roads, leaf debris, possible snow, ice and difficult to see potholes, the few minutes that it takes to check your tyres could just save your life.