UK Tyre Laws and Legal Requirements

When it comes to the attributes of a car tyre, there are a few areas, which are essential in UK law, principally the tramp depth, speed, and load indexes, as well as the quality or durability of the tyre. Here, we will break down the various UK tyre laws and legal requirements that you, as the driver, need to be informed.

There should be no points where the tread depth goes below 1.6 mm as it is the least depth which is required. Because of this importance – and the fact that 1.6 mm is a legal requirement in many countries – tyre manufacturer’s often consolidate features to indicate the level of wear and tear on your tyre.

The law requires car tyres to have a minimum tread depth of 1.6mm in a continuous band around the central three-quarters of the tyre. To help you judge how much tread you have on your car tyres, manufacturers often mold tread bars at roughly 1.6mm. Many manufacturers now include a Tread Wear Indicator (TWI) within the grooves of the tyre tread which become more visible as the tyre wears down.

The tyre valve is often the most neglected and overlooked component within the wheel and tyre an efficient valve is important for the safe operation of the tyre. Wear on the valve seal, damaged screw threads, dirt and grit in the valve itself can lead to failure of the tyre at speed.

Inspect all tyres, including the spare, for signs of damage. Ensure all tyres are correctly inflated for the load you will be carrying and check your pressure settings regularly throughout extended trips. Check your tread depth against the legal requirements for all countries and allow extra if you plan on covering lots of miles. Check the age of your tyres: If they are five years old get, then changed before your journey and avoid sidewall impact wherever possible. If you do knock the sidewall, always check every tyre for signs of damage.

Ensure your vehicle is equipped with all emergency equipment the country requires you to carry by law, e.g. warning triangles and high-visibility jackets. Make sure your insurance is valid: check with your insurer if you are not certain. Car, Van and Leisure Batteries.

Enter your vehicle details to view our range of replacement batteries suitable for your car or van. Buy online and book an appointment for car battery fitting at your local Kwik Fit Centre at a time convenient for you. Our online prices include VAT and apply to retail customers only. Buy Car & Van Batteries Online for Fitting in Centre. Buy your battery online and we will fit it for you at your nearest center – simply choose a fitting date and time convenient for you.

Alternatively, if you know the battery size and specification you need, you can select from our catalog of batteries available for fitting. Our online prices include fitting costs and VAT. Prices apply to retail customers only. Please note: we are currently unable to complete battery bookings on hybrid/electric vehicles. The fitting can usually be done comfortably within an hour-long appointment slot, however, some vehicles may take longer.

Our specialist equipment assesses the condition of the battery and can identify underlying battery faults. Buy a leisure battery for your caravan or motorhome online for collection at your nearest Kwik Fit Centre. Please, we are currently unable to complete battery health checks on hybrid/electric vehicles.

Car Batteries at Kwik Fit

If you require a new car battery, Kwik Fit provides a full car battery replacement service and can dispose of your old one for you. Your car battery is at the heart of all your vehicle’s electrical systems, it is the only source of power to get your car started so you must check yours regularly. Flat batteries are one of the main reasons for breakdown calls in the UK, especially on cold mornings, and you’ll only really know something is wrong when your car doesn’t start.

If you are at all concerned about the age or charging capability of your car battery, don’t leave it until your car won’t start, call into your local Kwik Fit and we will carry out a free and thorough check. Find out more about our free car battery testing service.

Kwik Fit also stocks a range of low price leisure batteries suitable for many applications including camping, boating, caravans, and motorhomes. Order a leisure battery online for collection from your nearest Kwik Fit center. (Leisure battery fitting not available)

There are several simple steps you can take to get the maximum life and value out of your car battery. Make sure your cell voltage is checked when you have your car serviced. A fully charged battery will have a charge of 12.5 to 12.6 volts. When the engine is running this should rise to 13.7 to 14.7 volts.

Inspect your battery every few months to make sure it is clean and secure. A dirty battery connection will weaken the charge, so remove the connectors from the terminal to clean away grease, dirt and dried acid build-up. You could even apply a layer of multi-purpose grease to protect the battery from rust and corrosion.

As temperatures drop more power is needed to start the engine. To give your battery a helping hand, ensure all accessories are unplugged and switch off anything else that drains its power. Get into the habit of turning everything off before you leave your car.

Not driving your vehicle enough can lead to battery problems. Batteries will refuse to work when vehicles have been left standing idle. Equally, if your car is only used for short trips, the battery will not have enough time to recharge, which will ultimately leave it flat.

Puncture Repair

So you’ve had a flat tyre, what now? The most immediate need when you have a flat tyre is to get back on the road. You will usually have to address this by removing the punctured tyre and fitting your spare, safely out of the way of any traffic. Instructions on how to remove the punctured tyre and fitting the spare can be found in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. However, it is critically important to organise for the punctured tyre to be repaired as soon as possible. This is especially the case if your vehicle’s spare tyre is a space saver or speed limited.

What causes a flat tyre? A flat tyre is generally caused by a puncture to a tubeless tyre’s casing, allowing air to escape and causing the tyre to deflate. Punctures are usually caused by sharp objects like small nails, screws, glass shards and other road debris. These objects tend to cause punctures less than 5mm in diameter. If they occur within the tread area of the tyre, a repair can usually be made to the tyre.

Can my tyre be repaired? The area of the tyre where the puncture occurs will determine if the tyre is repairable. Generally, tyres with punctures in the tread area are repairable. Areas within the central ¾ of a tyre (shown in blue), which have a tread depth of no less than 1.6mm are minor repair areas and can be patched.

Tyres suffering from a major puncture to the tread or on the tyre sidewall and shoulder will be deemed unrepairable. If this happens, a new tyre will be needed to replace the punctured one How do we repair a puncture? The function of a puncture repair is to seal the tyre’s casing to prevent moisture or contaminants from entering the tyre casing or structure.

The tyre must be removed from the rim to perform a correct puncture repair. This allows for a complete inspection of the damage and ensures the plug used to repair the puncture bonds properly with the tyre casing to make it airtight. The repair is made from the inside out.

A puncture repair usually takes around 30 minutes to complete. It involves deflating and removing the flat tyre from the rim, assessing and repairing the puncture before refitting it to the rim and balancing the tyre on the wheel. It is then fitted to your vehicle and your spare placed back into storage.

If you have any questions regarding tyre repairs, please speak to one of our expert staff. There are a range of Run Flat Tyres which are deemed not repairable by the tyre manufacturer. If you are unsure, please check with your local Bob T-Marts as to the specific manufacturer recommendations for your Run Flat Tyres. Read our guide on Run Flat Tyres for more information or consider our Road Hazard Warranty for your future peace of mind!