Get back on the road with
our same day service
COVID-19 UPDATE - PTA ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS Doing our bit to keep essential workers and customers on the road

Tyre Tread

What is Tyre Tread Depth?

Tyre tread is the part of the tyre that is in contact with the road. Tyres are constructed from rubber and are moulded with grooves and tread patterns to provide effective grip, handling and resistance against aquaplaning.

A tyre begins its life with 8mm of tread but over time this will naturally wear down due to general use. When tread reduces, so does the tyre’s gripping capabilities and wet weather performance, meaning it can become dangerous to drive on worn tyres. The same advice applied to motorbike tyre tread depth, take a look at our guide to motorbike tyre safety.

It is important to get your tyres checked by a professional before they become too worn. Get in touch with your local PTA Garage to get your tyres checked before they become illegally or dangerously worn.


What's The Legal Minimum Depth of Tread For Car Tyres?

It is a legal requirement to have your tyres replaced when tread reaches 1.6mm. Failure to comply with the minimum tread depth limit can result in a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points per each illegal tyre. Tyres with tread below 1.6mm will also cause your vehicle to fail an MOT test. In addition, if you are involved in an accident and your tyre tread is below the legal limit, your car insurance may be invalid, therefore it is essential to monitor the condition of your tyres, tyre damage and tyre pressure.

As tyre tread affects your safety on the road, especially in wet conditions, PTA Garage Services would recommend replacing your tyres once tread drops below 3mm.


How To Check my Tyre Tread?

You can check your tyre tread depth easily at home by performing the 20p test. Place a 20p coin in three different places in the grooves in your tyre. Check to see if you can see the outer band of the coin above the tread on the tyre at any point. This band measures 3mm and if you can see the part sitting inside the tread then your tyres may be illegal.

For a more accurate reading, you could also invest in a tyre tread gauge to check your tread to the closest millimetre.

Tyre Tread


Contact your local PTA Garage Services if you require further guidance on tyre tread, to have your tyres inspected by one of our specialists or alternatively, you can buy new tyres online.