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Nearly 8 million motorists don't check tyres

To coincide with Tyre Safety month, the firm analysed its own MOT and Service data, which found that 8.5% of cars visiting its centres for the annual roadworthiness check or a service had at least one tyre that was dangerous – the equivalent of 2.7 million cars on UK roads.

A further 16.3% (equivalent to 5.2 million cars) had at least one tyre with only 2-3mm of tread remaining – below 3mm being the point at which tyre performance begins to degrade significantly.

Stefan Warhaftig said: ‘A new car tyre begins life with around 8mm of tread, so to arrive for an MOT with a tyre at or below the legal minimum of 1.6mm means weeks or months of neglect have taken place.

‘The difference between 1.6mm and 3mm of tread is an extra 8 metres of stopping distance in wet conditions and the maximum fine for driving on an illegal tyre is £2,500 – something worth considering when you’re next washing the car or filling up with fuel and could take the time to carry out a quick check.’

Halfords Autocentres figures also reveal that some regions had far higher incidences of dangerous or severely worn tyres than others – with 32% of drivers from Hampshire placing themselves at risk, closely followed by 29% of motorists in Scotland.

In South Wales, while tyres were generally better than average with 76% being OK, they have one of the highest proportions of illegal tyres (12%). The best area for tyre safety in the UK is the East Midlands where 80% of tyres passed an inspection without fault.

Warhaftig added: ‘Tyres are your car’s only point of contact with the road. So, as it is Tyre Safety Month we’re highlighting our FREE Tyre Check service – which includes a pressure check plus a tread depth, wear and damage inspection to give even the busiest drivers peace of mind.’

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.