UK tyre law requires that your tyres must be the correct type and size of tyre for the vehicle you are driving and that your tyres are generally in good condition. This refers to tyre tread depth which must be above the minimum legal limit which for passenger cars is 1.6 millimetres, throughout a continuous band in the centre 3/4 of the tread and around the complete circumference of the tyre.
If tread depth is below the legal limit then you could face a £2500 fine plus three penalty points on your licence per tyre so it really pays to make sure your tread is up to scratch!
Tyre pressure is also covered by UK tyre law – tyres must also be correctly inflated to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended tyre pressure. This can be found in the vehicle handbook, on your petrol cap or on the inside the driver’s door. Tyre pressure should be checked on a regular basis – at least once a month – and always before any long journeys.
Tyre Sidewall Explained
You will find the size of a tyre on its sidewall. Here is a quick explanation as to what the different numbers mean, if your tyre size is : “205 55 R16 91 W”
205: Is the width of the tyre in millimetres
55: Is the height of the tyre sidewall as a percentage of the width.
In this case 55% of 205mm. Also know as the aspect ratio.
R: The is a Radial Construction tyre.
16: This is the diameter of the tyre’s inner rim in inches
91: IIs the load Rating – This is the load rating of the Tyre. In this case its 615kg
W: Speed Rating – This is the maximum speed for the tyre when at full load. In this case 168 mph