How To Check Tyre Tread

22nd July 2016
Last updated: 8th May 2019

tyre tread with 20p coin

Checking your tyre tread is an easy and simple task. You do not need to have your own tyre tread gauge, all it requires is a 20p piece. The legal minimum for a tyre tread in the UK is 1.6mm. Place your 20p piece into the main tread groove and if the inner rim isn’t showing it means your tyres tread is above the legal tread limit. This means you will have a much better braking performance in the wet weather and less chance of your car aquaplaning or skidding. However, if the inner rim of the 20p is showing, this means your tyre tread may be below the legal tread limit and you may need to get yourself some new tyres for your car. If you are stopped by the police you may be fined for not having legal road worthy tyres. You will also have a longer stopping distance in wet weather and chances of aquaplaning as there would be loss of grip on the road. You should check the inner, middle and outer main grooves (they run in a straight line all the way round the tyre) of the tread not just the outside edge. Remember to check all your tyres on the car, plus the spare tyre in the boot.