Tyre Tread Depth

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Here at Phillips Tyres, we recommend that you carry out your tyre tread depth checks monthly otherwise you could be fined £2500 and receive 3 penalty points for each illegal tyre if your tread depth is below the minimum requirement. It is irrelevant what car you drive as the condition of your tyres plays a vital part in how your car grips the road.

The current minimum legal requirement is 1.6mm. If you can see these bars then it is highly likely that your tyres are about to become illegal and need replacing quickly. The lower your tread depth the lower your tyres grip to the road which increases your braking distance to allow sufficient grip on wet surfaces and this will decrease as the tyre tread pattern begins to wear down or as the depth of the water increases. If you are at all concerned than we advise you to take this into consideration and reduce your speed in wet conditions.

UK law states that your vehicle must be fitted with the correct sized tyre for the vehicle you are driving and failure to do so could severely affect the overall handling and performance of your vehicle, particularly in wet conditions which may cause aquaplaning.


This occurs when water builds between the wheels of the vehicle and is not able to disperse resulting in the tyres losing contact with the road and loss of traction. A tyre in fairly good condition can disperse around 15 litres of water per second, the less tread of the tyre then the more this reduces.

Tread Wear Indicators

A large number of manufacturers now include a tread wear indicator (TWI) that sits within the grooves of the tyre, these will become more and more noticeable as the tyre begins to wear down. A visual check need only take a couple of minutes as most modern vehicles carry a TWI that is moulded into the rubber. Although this is a mere indicator, always check the tread depth for any signs of wear or bulges.

Tyre Valves

Tyre valves are often neglected and an efficient valve is vitally important for the overall safe operation of the tyre. If there are any signs of wear on the valve, or seal or grit/dirt in the actual valve then this can lead to the failure of the tyre at high speed. It can also significantly reduce the life of the tyre by up to an incredible 25% so we also advise that you regularly check the valve.

If you have any concerns or worries regarding the tread depth on your tyres then we will be happy to inspect your tyre and advise accordingly.