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Driving with worn or damaged tyres does not only jeopardise your safety, and the safety of other road users; it can also get you a hefty fine and several points on your driving licence.

It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that the tyres fitted to the vehicle they are driving are fit for purpose, this includes motorbikes and trailers.

Fit for Purpose Checklist:

1.Tyres should not have any lumps, bulges, cuts or tears caused by separation of the tyre structure

2.No surface cut on any of the vehicle's tyres should have a length in excess of 25mm, or 10% of the section width of the tyre (whichever is greater). This can be measured in any direction on the outside of the tyre in question

3.If the ply or cords of the tyre are exposed by any form of damage, the tyre becomes illegal

Your car tyres are required to have a minimum of 1.6 mm of tread in a continuous band across the centre three quarters of the tyre. Find out how to check your tyre tread here.

Any elements of the ‘fit for purpose checklist’ not adhered to, or tyre tread being less than 1.6mm will also cause your vehicle to fail its MOT test.

Complimentary Tyre Check

If you have noticed any of the signs listed above, we would recommend visiting your local Merityre Specialists branch for a free tyre health check. We will check the condition of your tyres and offer advice if they need to be replaced.

Spare Tyre

Legally, you do not have to carry a spare tyre but if you do it does not have to adhere to the standard law if you are only carrying it onboard. Your spare tyre is also not checked during an MOT test. However, if you need to fit your spare tyre to your car it must then comply with the tyre law, along with the other tyres already fitted to your car. Take a look at our guide for more information on carrying a spare tyre.


If you are caught driving on illegal tyres, the maximum penalty you could receive is £2,500 and 3 penalty points per illegal tyre (excluding the spare, if one is only being carried) If you think your tyres are illegal, or not fit for purpose visit your local Merityre Specialists today for a FREE tyre check.


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