#TestYourTreads – why winter tyre maintenance is so important

This is a collaborative post

I think back to my pre-children stage of life and there were a number of things that I was a lot more relaxed about. Where I was spending my money (usually on handbags and purses!) was one of those things, but the other was car safety.

Now, I understand that no matter what stage of life we are at, we should always be careful with our cars, and whilst I would never not wear a seatbelt or run out of petrol (although a few times I came close), sometimes my service was long overdue and air would only be put into my tyres when I begged my Dad to do it. He was always my person to turn to whenever I needed help with my car and I still remember him coming to rescue me when my exhaust had fallen off at a roundabout! He was a hero that man!

Now that I do have children, I am far more careful and far more cautious with my car. Not only am I super careful with their in car safety, making sure they are in super safe car seats, strapped in correctly and not wearing their big winter coats on any journey; I also make sure the car itself is healthy.

Our car is only a couple of years old and with the fancy pants equipment that most cars now come with, a lot of things are flagged up on the dashboard when they go wrong. I mean, my car beeps at me every time I go over the winter tyre speed recommendation – which isn’t often I might add, especially as most of the journeys I make are local ones.

But one of the things that we should keep a regular eye on, rather than wait for our car to tell us about it, is the tread of our tyres. And that’s why I am working with tyreplus.co.uk on their #TestYourTreads campaign – to highlight just how important it is to keep an eye on those treads.


In the UK it is against the law to drive a vehicle fitted with tyres that have less than 1.6 millimetres of tread remaining anywhere around the complete circumference of the tyre. Doing so can result in a maximum £2500 fine per tyre and points on your driving licence.


If you had all four tyres with an illegal tread depth, that would be a £10k fine!

There are a couple of ways that you can test the tread of your tyres. You could use a tread depth guage, or if like me you don’t have one of those to hand (I admit to not having one at all!), you can use a 20p coin. Yes, that is right, go raid your purse and grab one of those silver coins.

If you insert the 20p coin into the grooves of the tyre and you can’t see the outer band then your tyre is likely to have the right amount of tread. If however you can see the outer band, then you likely have an unsafe tyre so it’s time to get yourself down to your nearest professional and get them checked out.

The experts do advise that even though you may have a legal tread, you shouldn’t wait until you are down to the 1.66mm before changing them.


In wet weather, it is thought that a 1.66mm depth isn’t enough to brake safely, so some experts recommend replacing them when the tread depth gets to 3mm.


Now that we are fully into the winter months (how ruddy cold is it out there?), it’s probably the most important time of year to be thinking about how safe our tyres are. With wet roads, icy roads, possible snowy roads (if you live anywhere where it actually snows these days!), accidents are there waiting to happen, so it’s best to have peace of mind that your car is as safe as it can be, and that it will keep your family safe if something does occur.

So I urge you to go and grab a 20p coin and #TestYourTreads 🙂

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