How to check your car's tyre tread

Your vehicle's tyres are one of its most important components, as they are the only point of contact with the road. Damaged tyres or those with worn tread have a negative impact on safety, and can even make it illegal to drive the vehicle. Tyres should therefore be checked regularly, and we explain how to do this in the video and guide below.

UK tyre law

Before checking tyre tread it is important to first understand UK tyre law. All vehicles must be fitted with the correct type and size of tyre, details of which are outlined in the owner's manual. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6 millimetres across the central three-quarters of the tread and around the tyre's complete circumference.

Checking the tread depth

Make sure you are parked away from the road where it is safe to move around the vehicle before you check the tread on each tyre. To do so you will need a tyre tread gauge, which you can find at most leading motoring retailers.

● Turn the steering wheel to the left to check the nearside front tyres and to the right to check the offside front tyres.

● Look for any wear indicators, which are lumps of rubber between the gaps in the tread pattern. When the tread is level with these lumps, the tyres will usually need replacing.

● Measure the tread by placing the tool into the remaining tread gap before removing it to read the value.

● Check each tyre so that you know which will need to be replaced.

At the same time it is wise to look for any bulges or tears in the tyres that can lead to a puncture on the road. Any separation of the tyre structure or lumps is likely to cause the vehicle to fail an MOT test.

Book a visit to your local RMB Automotive dealership if you would like a second opinion on whether the tyres fitted to your vehicle are suitable. Click through to our offers page beforehand to find a rewarding deal, and visit our other 'how to' pages for more helpful motoring tips.