Drivers urged to make simple tyre check to avoid £10,000 fine and 12 points

Drivers are being urged to carry out one simple tyre check - to avoid a £10,000 fine and 12 points on your licence. The Road Traffic Act makes it illegal for drivers to have the incorrect tyre tread depth.

It must be at least 1.6mm around the central three-quarters of the tyre breadth and the entire outer circumference. The tread depth acts as the grooves of the tyre, ensuring that you car can grip the road, as reported by the Mirror.

Experts are urging motorists to remember the old trick involving a 20p coin. To do it, simply place a 20p coin in the grooves on the tyre - and you shouldn't be able to see the engraved words 'twenty pence'.

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That will ensure the tread depth of all four tyres - and any spare tyres - are at the correct legal limit of at least 1.6mm. But if the writing is visible, it means the tyres are likely to have insufficient and illegal tread depth - and should be taken to a garage.

Drivers caught driving with illegal tyres can face a fine of £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre. However, if all four of your tyres are defective, you could face a fine of up to £10,000 and 12 penalty points.

Tim Alcock from, said: "Ahead of long summer road trips, all drivers across the country must remember to carry out essential checks on their tyres to ensure they meet the legal requirements and are roadworthy. Tyres which do not meet the legal tread depth limit of 1.6 mm are illegal and motorists could be fined up to £10,000 as well as receiving 12 penalty points on their licence.

"It’s simple to check if your tyres are suitable for driving at home with the simple 20p hack. By placing the coin in the grooves of the tyre, the writing on the 20p should not be visible. However, if you can see the engraved “twenty pence” then the tyres should be taken to the garage immediately to get a professional check.

"The 20p check takes a minute to carry out, but could quickly save you from being slapped with hefty fines and penalty points. You should also remember to check the spare tyre as well in case these ever need to be used as they’re not checked as part of a standard MOT.

"Without the correct tread depth your vehicle is more likely to start aquaplaning as it cannot grip to the road properly. Having the correct tread depth also means the tyre can travel smoothly and safely on the road surface, and that the drive is stable. This extortionate fine is life-changing for many people, so it’s always important to check all tyres regularly to make sure you aren’t driving illegally without knowing."