DRIVERS are being warned to check their tyres are legally roadworthy else risk a fine of up to £10,000 and 12 penalty points.

Motoring experts at are urging drivers to make essential checks on their tyre tread depths to ensure they meet the standard or face a potential driving ban alongside a bank-breaking fine.

All UK vehicles must adhere to the legal tread depth on all four tyres – 1.6mm around the central three-quarters of the tyre breadth and across the entire outer circumference.

Having the correct tread depth means cars can safely grip the road to accelerate smoothly but most importantly, be able to slow the car down correctly.

Braking issues are exacerbated in wet conditions – tyres without at least 1.6mm of tread depth will be more susceptible to aquaplaning, with the tyre separated from the road by water leading to a complete loss of grip.

Without the correct tread depth, drivers will be unable to slow their vehicle down within the correct stopping distance, potentially leading to serious collisions, accidents and fatalities.

The latest data shows that over 20% of all breakdowns on UK roads happen because of tyre problems.

These 40,000 plus drivers could have avoided a breakdown if they had carried out basic checks to their tyres before setting off. DIY tread depth checks can easily be carried out at home by just placing a 20p coin in the main tyre grooves.

If the engraved words “twenty pence” is not visible, then the tyre has a sufficient tread depth and is roadworthy. However, if this band is visible, the tyres should be taken to a mechanic to be inspected professionally.

The 20p test should be done regularly and before long journeys to ensure all tyres are legal and to avoid hefty fines, dangerous driving charges and penalty points.

If caught driving with defective tyres, motorists could be subject to a fine of £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre. This means that if all four tyres do not meet the legal requirements then drivers could be slapped with a whopping £10,000 fine and 12 points on their licence.

Tim Alcock, from, said: “It’s really important to regularly check the tread depth of your tyres else you could easily land a bank-breaking fine and potentially even face driving bans.

“The penalties for driving with defective tyres are very serious and landing a £10,000 for not having all four wheels up to scratch can be life changing.

“Without the right tread depth your car won’t be able to stop properly and could easily cause dangerous collisions or even fatalities.

“It might seem a tedious task, but making basic checks to your tyres every couple of weeks is necessary.

“The 20p test is easy to do at home and gives you a good idea as to whether your tyres are in the legal tread depth of 1.6 mm or not instead of having to take your car out to a garage or wait until it’s next MOT.”

For more information about ensuring your tyres are roadworthy. Please visit