The legal minimum tread depth for cars in the UK is 1.6mm throughout a continuous band comprising the central three-quarters of breadth of the tread and around its entire outer circumference.
Your tyres are the only thing that keep your vehicle in contact with the road. In wet weather tyre tread grooves help to remove water from the contact patch between your tyres and the road surface meaning your car can brake, steer and accelerate properly.
Without adequate tread depth, your tyres may not be able to perform properly in wet conditions, reducing your safety on the road. It is therefore advisable to consider replacing your tyres well before they reach the legal minimum which is 1.6mm.
Furthermore, drivers whose tyres fail to comply with the minimum tread depth requirements risk a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre
Take the 20p Test
A quick and easy way to see if your tyre tread exceeds the minimum legal tread depth is to take the 20p test.
Simply place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outer band of the 20p coin is obscured when it is inserted, then your tread is above the legal limit.
If the outer band of the coin is visible, then your tyres may be illegal and unsafe and should be checked immediately by a qualified tyre professional.
When taking the test, remember to check at least three locations around each tyre.