Tyre legality

Find out what the legal requirements are for your vehicle's tyres.

The UK law states that a tyre must be 'fit for purpose'

This means tyre must;

  • Be compatible with the types of tyres fitted to the other wheels, not have any lump, bulge or tear caused by separation or partial failure of the structure.
  • Not have a cut or tear in excess of 25mm or 10% of the width of the tyre, whichever is the greater, and which is deep enough to reach the ply or cord.
  • Not have any part of the ply or cord exposed.
  • Have a minimum legal tread depth of 1.6 mm, and be showing 75% of tread pattern which must be central to the tyre as below


A vehicle with any of these faults, or with tyres of different nominal size or aspect ratio on the same axle, is liable to fail an MOT test.  

You can take a rough measurement of tread depth with a 20p coin* 

  • Place 20p in the tyre tread.
  • Look at the coin with your eyes level to the tyre's surface.
  • If the border of the coin is in full view - the tyre is illegal

* This method is not an exact method of measurement

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