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Defective Tyres

By: Tracy Wilkinson - Updated: 27 Jul 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Faulty Tyres Penalty Points Fine Radial

Being a responsible driver doesn’t start or end with what you do when you’re behind the wheel. It actually starts before you get into the driving seat when you ensure that the vehicle that you are going to drive is Roadworthy.

According to the Road Traffic Act 1988 it is an offence:
“To use cause or permit another to use a motor vehicle or trailer on a road which might for whatever reason, involve a danger of injury to any person”.

This makes it illegal to use a vehicle that is in a poor mechanical state and may be considered dangerous to other road users or passengers.

Driving a car that has faulty tyres would make you guilty of committing this offence, so make sure that you incorporate a regular tyre check and know what to look out for to keep your vehicle roadworthy.

As your tyres are responsible for your steering, braking and acceleration, as well as load bearing and improving the comfort of your journey, you will appreciate that it is extremely dangerous to scrimp on tyre maintenance. For this reason, the penalties for offences related to the use of faulty tyres on vehicles are very severe and if stopped by the police you could end up seriously out of pocket, as well as potentially banned from driving – depending on the severity of the damage and the number of tyres affected.

What Are the Penalties for Driving With Faulty Tyres?

In the case of any vehicle, with the exception of goods vehicles and vehicles adapted to carry more than eight passengers, for every offence there is a fine at level 4 of the standard scale with discretionary disqualification with 3 Penalty Points.

Level 4 currently stands at £2,500 and each faulty tyre is considered as a separate offence, which can really add up. Two faulty tyres equals £5,000 and 6 points on your license, and so on.

How Do I Make Sure my Tyres Are up to Scratch?

The law is quite specific when it comes to tyres, but it’s still an offence that catches out many drivers each year. You must not use a motor vehicle or trailer that has any of the following defects:
  • Tyres that don’t fit properly or are unsuitable for use of the vehicle
  • Tyres that are unsuitable when compared to tyres on the other wheels(for example: In the UK it is illegal, not to mention dangerous, to mix radial ply and cross ply tyres on the same axle or to have radial ply tyres on the front axle and cross ply tyres on the rear axle. Exceptions can be made for emergency situations but should be avoided wherever possible.)
  • It has a tyre that is not so inflated as to make it suitable for the use the vehicle is being put to
  • It has a tyre that has a cut of more than 25mm or 10% of its section width
  • It has a lump tear or bulge due to structure failure
  • It has a tyre with exposed cord
  • The base of the groove or thread pattern is not clearly visible;
  • The tread depth falls below the legal minimum tread depth for car and similar tyres in the UK and Europe which is 1.6mm throughout a continuous band comprising the central three quarters of the breadth of tread and round the entire other circumference of the tyre.
  • The tyre is not maintained in such a condition as to be fit for the use to which the vehicle or the trailer is being put or has a defect which might cause damage to the surface of the road or to persons in the vehicle or on the road.

Most types of tyre will have tread wear indicators which are usually six small ribs that run across the bottom of the main tread grooves. When the tread surface becomes level with these ribs the tyre is at the legal limit and must be replaced as soon as possible. If you are not sure if your tyres are legal, you can either purchase an inexpensive tread depth gauge which are available in many places and test them yourself, or see a professional for advice.

Having 'bald' tyres will also mean your car fails its MOT Test which could end up with a costly re-test – the tread is what helps you to stop in an emergency, so both financially and for safety’s sake - it’s worth keeping on top of any problems with them and replacing them as soon as you find any faults.

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[Add a Comment]
scorpion- Your Question:
My friend was served a notice as the cord of the tyre of his car was exposed. should he plea guilty or is there any defence?

Our Response:
There isn't really a defence to this as a car owner/driver is responsible for checking the roadworthiness of their vehicle. If he has recently purchased the tyre and thinks there is a fault with its structure, he could perhaps use this but would need to seek professional legal advice first.
NoPenaltyPoints - 30-Jul-18 @ 3:05 PM
my friend was served a notice as the cord of the tyre of his car was exposed. should he plea guilty or is there any defence?
scorpion - 27-Jul-18 @ 2:36 PM
Jacktar - Your Question:
I can't check the tyre pressure on the rear wheels of my work van as I can't access the tyre valves. What are the implications if I am stopped by the police and the tyres are under inflated. Is my company responsible or am I responsible as the driver

Our Response:
The driver is usually liable. Talk to your employer and ask for a solution for carrying out an air pressure check.
NoPenaltyPoints - 27-Jun-18 @ 3:04 PM
I can't check the tyre pressure on the rear wheels of my work van as I can't access the tyre valves. What are the implications if I am stopped by the police and the tyres are under inflated. Is my company responsible or am I responsible as the driver
Jacktar - 27-Jun-18 @ 11:36 AM
I drive a 125cc moped & was pulled over by police whom told me my rear tyre was lacking any thread in the middle.I was sent a court summons in which the police report states for the offence of having tyre thread less than 1.6mm.I'm pretty sure the minimum tyre depth for a 125cc motorcycle in the UK in actually 1mm.Do I have a case in court if the police were incorrectly measuring for the wrong depth?
Duke - 24-May-18 @ 4:07 PM
I have recently received £65 fine and 3 points for a bald tyre, does anyone know how long I have to pay the fine? Some are saying 28 days but officer said 21 days?
CD - 29-Mar-18 @ 10:56 AM
My son got stopped on the way to the garage to get 2 new tyres on his van which he had ordered on the Saturday and this was first thing Monday morning , as man in garage said for him 2 drop it off first thing Monday to get the new ones on cause they where out of stock & he has an order number for them will it b worth him fighting this one . A feel he’s been treeted unfair
Bouncer - 11-Dec-17 @ 9:11 PM
I was stop for a random routine check and upon inspection they noticed a small bulge on the sidewall of a tyre and issued me with 3 points and £100 fine. Can I contest this?
Apps - 29-Aug-17 @ 5:07 PM
Hi, I have been stopped by the police at 1am but my run out at 12am and also I had two tyres below 1.6mm which means they were illegal. The police issued me with vehicle prohibition notice. I had the car fully MOTd and then back to the police station and the police removed the notice. This was at 8th April 2017 I haven't heard anything from the police interms of receiving any letters. How long does it usually take? I know you said they have 6 months. What I'm saying is people who got done for similar thing how long it took recieve fines? Please help I'm so anxious. Thanks
Jay - 10-Jul-17 @ 12:54 PM
Temmy - Your Question:
I was stopped by two police officers on my way from work last December, a few days after a van took off the bumper of my car from the left side. The officer said the trafficator lights were not working properly and some other lights were not coming up well, also one of my tyres was not good. So he gave me a prohibition notice and asked me to fix those things which were working before I left home but maybe the electricals of the car was touching and those lights were affected at some point, though I didn't notice this while I was driving the car as everything seemed ok to me from the inside. so he asked me to fix the car and take it for another MOT test and then take it to a station near me for it to be signed off "prohibition". This I did within 3 days and the prohibition was taken off with a PG10 form given to me by the officer I met at the station but to my surprise, I received a court letter that I have been summoned to court for these things. Am I to plead guilty even after I had done what he asked me to do? Meanwhile my car still had a valid MOT at the time. I am new to the sytem and I am so confused.

Our Response:
A prohibition notice does not mean that you avoid a fixed penalty or court summons. There is really no case for you to plead not guilty as the faults were there at the time you were stopped and were noted by the police officers.
NoPenaltyPoints - 31-May-17 @ 10:01 AM
I was stopped by two police officers on my way from work last December, a few days after a van took off the bumper of my car from the left side. The officer said the trafficator lights were not working properly and some other lights were not coming up well, also one of my tyres was not good. So he gave me a prohibition notice and asked me to fix those things which were working before I left home but maybe the electricals of the car was touching and those lights were affected at some point, though I didn't notice this while I was driving the car as everything seemed ok to me from the inside. so he asked me to fix the car and take it for another MOT test and then take it to a station near me for it to be signed off "prohibition". This I did within 3 days and the prohibition was taken off with a PG10 form given to me by the officer I met at the station but to my surprise, I received a court letter that I have been summoned to court for these things. Am I to plead guilty even after I had done what he asked me to do? Meanwhile my car still had a valid MOT at the time. I am new to the sytem and I am so confused.
Temmy - 28-May-17 @ 7:04 PM
Nicki - Your Question:
Got pulled over by the police. Reason I got pulled over was man having a go at me because my 12year old daughter smoking in the car.He called police saying that she was smoking weed. Which she was not.Well my tyre was flat and bold. so I was told to get it done in 14 days and fine 100 pounds and 3points but I thought if you had tyre done in 14. Days that you did not get fine or points

Our Response:
No, you can be given a fixed penalty together with a vehicle rectification notice.
NoPenaltyPoints - 22-May-17 @ 2:17 PM
Got pulled over by the police. Reason I got pulled over was man having a go at me because my 12year old daughter smoking in the car. He called police saying that she was smoking weed. Which she was not. Well my tyre was flat and bold . so I was told to get it done in 14 days and fine 100 pounds and 3points but I thought if you had tyre done in 14. Days that you did not get fine or points
Nicki - 21-May-17 @ 4:52 PM
Malik - Your Question:
I was stopped by the police coz of my mot ran out almost week before and they found 2 of my tyres are below the legal 1.6mm limit. It's been almost 2 months havnt recieved any letters as the police said.m I Gona get any points please advice

Our Response:
The police will either issue a fixed penalty or a court summons. They have up to 6 months to do this.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Apr-17 @ 1:36 PM
I was stopped by the police coz of my mot ran out almost week before and they found 2 of my tyres are below the legal 1.6mm limit. It's been almost 2 months havnt recieved any letters as the police said.m I Gona get any points please advice
Malik - 2-Apr-17 @ 5:53 AM
I was pulled over for having a tyre under the legal limit, office told me it would be 3 points and £100 fine, came through 1 month later, paid it, expected 3 points, another month later the court refunded me the fine of £100, i thought all was good, didnt hear anything until 6 months after the incident, i receive a letter asking me to make a plea, anything i can say to the courts to help my case?
Ferret_Driving - 17-Jan-17 @ 5:03 PM
ALLEGRA - Your Question:
Hello,I got stopped for 3 defectives tyres, I am thinking of pleading guilty by letter with explanation. Any advice? what do I risk? My fear is loosing my license as I rely on it to work. Please help.

Our Response:
The usual penalty for using a vehicle with defective tyres is 3 points plus £100 fine.
NoPenaltyPoints - 17-Jan-17 @ 12:59 PM
Hello, I got stopped for 3 defectives tyres, i am thinking of pleading guilty by letter with explanation. Any advice? what do i risk? My fear is loosing my license as i rely on it to work. Please help.
ALLEGRA - 16-Jan-17 @ 3:11 PM
I was driving a Courtisy car and I was stopped by police because I the thread on my tyre was not to the expectation of the law,and I had no clue about this but the police officer was very polite and said that he would let me continue my journey with no fines if I changed it now,so I left with a warning and no paper work from the officer,1monrh down the line I get a penalty noticing saying that I have two choices to pay the fine and endorse 3 points or go to court. Do I have any grounds to appeal??
Jackiechan - 7-Dec-16 @ 8:20 PM
My rear passenger tyre had worn on the outer edge No tyre cord was exposed or rips or tears in the tyre. Across the centre 3/4 of tyre and around the circumference the tread was above 1.6mm What would be the outcome if I was stopped by the police. To my belief the tyre is legal based on my research but my company are saying the tyre is illegal on the outer edge and the police would give me points or a fine Any help on the would be appreciated
I-spy - 4-Nov-16 @ 3:04 PM
T-nam - Your Question:
I got stopped for two tyres, but I am not the main driver and honestly do not drive the car around a lot. Would there be any way I can get away from the points? Ie saying it had be pre booked for changes but I was not aware of it?

Our Response:
No, as the driver, you are responsible for checking the roadworthiness of any vehicle you drive.
NoPenaltyPoints - 9-Sep-16 @ 11:45 AM
I got stopped for two tyres, but i am not the main driver and honestly do not drive the car around a lot. Would there be any way i can get away from the points? Ie saying it had be pre booked for changes but i was not aware of it?
T-nam - 8-Sep-16 @ 12:00 PM
paul - Your Question:
I was pulling a car transport trailer and hit a pothole, both my left hand tyres got puctures in the sidewall and my tyres went flat. I had to have them replaced with new tyres as I only had one spare. I then used the vehicle and trailer to travel to inverness 120 miles away when I was there I was stopped by the police and my rear left hand tyre had scrubbed the tread completely off exposing the canvass!!i was gobsmacked to say the least as I had checked the tyres in case any had lost air etc. I had to put the spare on and when I got back same thing, the pothole had damaged my axle. I got it repaired but have a summons coming for £100 and 3 points. do I have a defense or will I have to plead guilty? I have the report to the council and recpt for tyres and witness who fitted wheels but dont want to plead not guilty and get a bigger fine. any ideas?

Our Response:
We really don't know whether this would result in abigger fine. You could show your receipts to prove the tyres you purchased were new. Would the tyre fitter have been expected to know that the axle was damaged sufficiently to wear the tyres this rapidly? You may be better accepting the £100 and 3 points and claiming compensation in relation to what must have been a pretty large/deep pothole. Try and find a solicitor who will offer a cheap initial consultation and who can advise you on which option to pursue.
NoPenaltyPoints - 25-Apr-16 @ 10:37 AM
i was pulling a car transport trailer and hit a pothole, both my left hand tyres got puctures in the sidewall and my tyres went flat. i had to have them replaced with new tyres as i only had one spare. i then used the vehicle and trailer to travel to inverness 120 miles away when i was there i was stopped by the police and my rear left hand tyre had scrubbed the tread completely off exposing the canvass!! i was gobsmacked to say the least as i had checked the tyres in case any had lost air etc. i had to put the spare on and when i got back same thing, the pothole had damaged my axle. i got it repaired but have a summons coming for £100 and 3 points.... do i have a defense or will i have to plead guilty? i have the report to the council and recpt for tyres and witness who fitted wheels but dont want to plead not guilty and get a bigger fine.... any ideas?
paul - 23-Apr-16 @ 9:01 AM
Has anyone had trouble with tyres made in China which are excessively noisy. I had two fitted on the rear of my car a couple of months ago and they are getting noisier all the time. I am now approachoing the supplier Kwik- fit group to see if they will resolve the situation. Hopefully as a reputable company it will be sorted out.
no - 16-Oct-15 @ 8:34 AM
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