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How do I test my tyre tread depth?

Driving safety is paramount, and here at Hendy, we want to ensure that you always feel safe and secure every time you set off. Tyres connect your vehicle to the road; therefore, it’s essential that they’re fit for the ride!

As tyre tread depth decreases, it affects your car’s handling and braking ability. Braking distances are directly impacted by tyre tread depth. If the tread is low on tyres, they have less grip on the road and take longer to come to a stop, which is exacerbated even more in wet conditions.

The legal minimum tyre tread depth is 1.6mm, but stopping distances significantly increase when the tyre tread depth dips below 3mm. A car with a 1.6mm tyre tread depth can have up to 14 metres less braking distance than a car with a sufficient 8mm tyre tread depth.

It’s always better to be safe than sorry! If your tyre’s tread depth is under the legal limit, you risk a nasty £2,500 fine (per tyre!) and 3 points on your licence if you’re pulled over.

The 20p test

If you don’t own a tread depth gauge, then there’s a very easy test – called the 20p test – that you can do at home to check your tyre tread depth. Just follow these easy steps below!

·       Place the 20p coin in the main tread channels of your tyres. Make sure to test across the central three quarters of the tread and do this numerous times.

·       If the outer band of the coin is obscured when inserted into the groove, then your tread is above the legal limit.

·       If you see any part of the outer band of the coin face, it means that your tyre tread is too shallow, and you need to get them checked at a garage as soon as possible.

We recommend getting your tyres checked regularly to ensure that there’s no bumps or objects lodged in the grooves. Always remove oil and grease with a suitable diluted detergent. Seek out a professional if there are bulges in your tyres as they could be internally damaged, and of course, ask them any questions if you have any concerns about the condition of your tyres.