How To Check Your Tyre Treads

Swinton "Car How To" guide for checking car tyre treads

Before checking your car tyre tread park your car on a level surface, engine off, handbrake on.

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As part of our ‘Car How To’ video series, the team at Swinton have created a handy guide to how to check your tyre tread.

Before checking your car tyre tread

Park your car on a level surface, engine off, handbrake on.
Tyre tread. Grips the road. Helps safe driving, Especially in bad weather.

Legal minimum tread depth required is 1.6mm ( March 2014)

Worn-out tyres can mean a £2,500 fine per tyre, and even points on your licence. (March 2014)

Checking your tyre treads

You can use a 20p coin to do a basic check by placing the coin in different sections of the tyre tread.

This line around the coin is over 2mm deep. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm and you should be comfortably over this…

A more accurate way to make sure your tread is safe is to buy a tread depth gauge.

You can buy a tread depth gauge to suit your budget, online or at most car garages or specialist car parts retailers:

Use the tyre tread gauge to check the tread in various places. Check all around the tyre.

If you’re close to 1.6mm, it’s time for new tyres.

You should also keep an eye out for little cuts or splits in the side of the tyres whilst you’re doing this. If you find any unusual check with a professional.

Depending on your mileage, you should be doing this check every month. Especially before long journeys.

Now you’ve got your tyre treads checked, you can find more tips from our ‘Car How To’ series by visiting


Our “Car How To” videos bring you handy hints which we hope will save you time and money, but please remember, this video is a general one and may not be suitable for your specific purpose. This video is not intended as a substitute for professional help or guidance, always speak to a trained professional and where applicable, always consult manufacturer’s handbook.


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