As a newly qualified driver, the desire to get out on the roads and the freedom of having your own car is often overwhelming and checking the condition of tyres is often forgotten.

However, you should always make the effort to check tyres for wear and tear and pressure on a regular basis – preferably before every journey, especially if it is a likely to be a long one.

Tip – If necessary, write it down in a diary or put a reminder on your phone if you have to.

Below are some of the things that you should look out for:

What is the Correct Tyre Tread Depth?

UK law requires that your vehicle is fitted with the correct type and size of tyre for the How Often Do You Check Your Tyres?vehicle type you are driving and for the purpose it is being used. This means fitting the right tyres and for safety ensuring that they are inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure.

The legal limit for minimum depth of the tread on your tyres is 1.6 millimetres, across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre.

For safety reasons it is recommended that you replace your tyres before the legal limit is reached. Many vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing at 3 millimetres. At 1.6 millimetres in wet weather it takes an extra car length (8 metres) to stop at 50 mph than if your tread was 3 millimetres.

A regular check of your tyres can help you to avoid 3 penalty points and £2,500 in fines (per tyre) for having tyres worn beyond the legal minimum limit on your vehicle.

What is the Correct Tyre Pressure?

You can find out the right tyre pressures for your car in the handbook or on a sticker inside the fuel filler flap or driver’s door. Remember that pressures are quoted for cold tyres and that you will probably have to increase pressures when you carry heavy loads.

In general the handbook or stickers will show two figures, one for ‘normal’ use and a higher figure for full loads. Be sure to adjust the pressures to suit the conditions.

If you can’t find details of the correct tyre pressures it’s best to contact the vehicle manufacturer – their websites usually give details of customer services departments. You will need to make a note of the size of the tyres fitted – taken from the sidewalls – as well as the make/model and registration number.

Aim to check pressures every couple of weeks, with the tyres cold, using a reliable and accurate tyre pressure gauge.

Having the correct tyre pressures is important for several reasons:

  • Tyre life – under or over inflation increases wear
  • Fuel economy – under inflation increases fuel consumption
  • Safety – under or over inflation will affect grip and braking performance
  • Ride – over inflation can result in a harsh, uncomfortable and skittish ride

Is There a Good Time To Check My Tyres?

Make sure that you check your car’s tyres when it is parked on a flat surface with plenty of room to get a good look.

As well as checking the tread depth and the pressure, you should also look for other signs of wear and tear that could result in a tyre being deemed illegal, such as cuts, tears and bulges, and exposed ply or cord.

Keeping your tyres in check will ensure that driving is safer and more efficient, lowering the risk of an accident and saving you money on maintenance and fuel.

Covering Surrey and The South East

Surrey Driving Force have fully qualified driving instructors with many years experience and our head office is based close to Surrey, in Egham Surrey. We operate throughout the South East and also offer driving lessons in Shepperton, Weybridge and Egham to name but a few.

Book your taxi training course with Surrey Driving Force today by calling us on 0845 190 2012 or text LESSONS to 81066 or emailing

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