A-Z: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Tyre Safety

All drivers are responsible for making sure their tyres are road worthy.

The legal tyre thread depth is 1.6mm. Most new tyres have a tread depth of 8mm, while most part-worn tyres have a depth of around 2mm.

Always make sure the thread depth of any tyres you buy is 2mm or more.

If your tyre depth is less than 1.6mm you can be fined up to £2,500 and 3 penalty points per tyre.

Tyres can be expensive, and more people are now choosing part worn tyres as a cost effective way of replacing tyres.

And as long as these tyres meet labelling and structural requirements they are safe and should not put the user or other road users a risk. However, anyone considering buying part-worn tyres for the vehicle must make sure they know exactly what to look for to make sure they make an informed and safe choice.

Buying tyres

  • When choosing new or part worn tyres always choose a reputable supplier and fitter.
  • Do not buy tyres with any structural defects such as:
    • cuts on the outside of the tyre
    • internal or external lumps or bulges
    • exposed ply or cord and
    • signs of penetration damage
  • Look out for tyre labels - part worn tyres must be labelled with the words 'PART WORN'. This label must be permanently fixed to the tyre and beside each approval mark which is usually on the side wall of the tyre.
  • Tyre aging can also negatively affect safety and reduce a tyre’s grip. Check the tyres age by finding the 4 digit code on the side wall of the tyre which represents month year the tyre was first manufactured.

Selling tyres

By law, it is illegal to supply or fit a tyre that fails to meet the requirements of The Motor Vehicle Tyre (Safety) Regulations 1994.

Retailers and fitters must only offer tyres which have a minimum 2mm tread across the circumference of the tyres.

All tyres must not:

  •  must not have a cut of more than 25mm or 10% of the section of the tyre
  •  must not have any internal or external lumps, bulges or tears
  •  must not have a ply or cord exposed internally or externally
  •  must not have any penetration damage that has not been repaired.

If selling part worn tyres, retailers must also label them with the words ‘PART WORN’ clearly legible and permanently affixed immediately adjacent to each approval mark on the tyre at least 4mm high.

All tyre sellers must take positive steps to make sure that their stock meets the requirements of the regulations and make all staff aware of the laws around selling tyres to the public.

The fine for selling a part worn tyre that fails to meet the requirements is up to 6 months imprisonment or a fine of up to £5,000

For more information on tyre safety call us on 028 9027 0428 or email


Contact us
028 9027 0428
Health and Safety
Cecil Ward Building
4-10 Linenhall Street