How Long Should Tyres Last and When Should I Replace Them?

It is impossible to put an exact number on how long a tyre should last.  The amount of time it lasts will depend upon numerous factors, mainly:

  • The quality of the tyre itself
  • The type of vehicle you drive and your driving style.
  • The type of roads and conditions you drive on and in.
  • How well you look after them (maintenance and driving responsibly)

According to one Global Manufacturer, an average tyre should last up to 20,000 miles. However, if you don’t use your car very often, then tyre manufacturers recommend that all tyres, regardless of tread depth, should be replaced after 10 years.  It is always advisable to have all tyres inspected annually, particularly if they are older than five years.

Over time, the rubber loses is elasticity, goes hard and then cracks begin to develop in the tyres rubber.  These can appear not only on the surface of the tyre, but also inside the tyre.  This cracking can eventually cause the steel threads within the tread to separate from the rest of the tyre.

Tyre Health Check

It is a good idea to get into the habit of regularly checking your tyres, particularly if you are about to embark on a long journey. These checks can be as simple as doing a quick visual check of the health of your tyres – don’t forget to check the spare!

  Visual signs to check for includes:

  • Any lumps, bumps or foreign objects sticking in your tyres that shouldn’t be there
  • Remove if possible, any small stones you see wedged in the tread
  • Tyre Pressure. Are you tyres inflated correctly (do they appear ‘flatter’)
  • Tread Depth. Are you legal and safe? Do the 20p test!

 The 20p test is a quick and easy way of checking the tyre tread of your car’s wheels. Just simply take a 20p coin and insert it into the tread grooves on your tyre. If you can’t see the outer band on the coin, your tyres are above the legal limit.

However, if you can see the band and that section of the coin is still visible, your tyres could be unsafe and require professional inspection by a mechanic.

Checking that your tyre tread depth is legal and safe, is one of the most important checks you can make on your car.

Your tyres are the only contact between you and the road.  If your tyres are worn, then this contact with the road is dimished.   THINK TREAD THINK SAFETY

If the safety risks don’t hit home, what about hitting your wallet?  A £2,500 fine and three penalty points PER TYRE is not a cheap day out!  At worse, if all four of your tyres were below the legal limit, you could potentially face a £10,000 fine and lose your driving licence.  Just think how many tyres you could have bought…..

So what is the legal tyre tread depth?

Currenty the legal tyre tread depth for cars in the UK and Europe is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre, according to law. The tread must meet this minimum requirement across its complete circumference.

If you are still unsure if your tyres are legal or not, or you require a pressure check, simply pop in and see our highly trained and experienced fitters for advice – they are here to help! 

How do I know what tyre to buy?

If you drive regularly on motorways (high speed roads) and clock up the mileage,  then you might well benefit from the added grip and ultimately added performance of what is classed as a ‘premium’ tyre. It may well be worth investing that little bit extra

However, if you mileage and driving style is more modest, then the ‘mid range’ brands are a good compromise. For those drivers who don’t venture out quite so often and perhaps only do local trips, then ‘budget’ brands should suffice

No matter whether you opt for budget, mid range or premium tyres, it’s vital to look after them properly so that you can get the maximum levels of performance and safety from your vehicle.

If you are unsure what to go for, just ask our highly trained and experienced fitters for advice – they are here to help!

Jan 22, 2019


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