When To Change The Car Tyres: Easy Guide

Knowing exactly when to change the car tyres can be tricky for some people, so in this article I’ve written an easy to follow guide so you can quickly and easily spot when your car tyres need changing.

Tyres are an extremely important component of your car. Knowing when to change them at the right time will not only keep you safe, but it will also save you money in the long run.

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When To Change The Car Tyres

If you’ve had your car tyres for a long period of time, or you’ve done thousands of miles on them, it may be time to replace them.

Replacing your car tyres with new tyres can help improve your vehicle’s fuel economy, braking performance, and will help keep your car on the road, helping to prevent your vehicle from skidding or aquaplaning.

The first thing you should do is do a visual inspection of each of the 4 tyres.

When To Change The Car Tyres Easy Guide

Visual Check Of Tyres

Here’s how to check if your tyres need replacing:

1) Park your car in a level, safe spot and turn off the ignition. Park it in a place where you can easily access all four corners of your vehicle.

2) Inspect each tyre for signs of wear or tear. Look for bald spots, cuts, or cracks in the rubber. If you see any of these dangers, replace the tyre as soon as possible.

3) Check the tread depth is above the legal limit of 1.6mm. This is the legal limit on UK roads, and most manufacturers recommend replacing tyres when they have a trea depth of 3mm or less (See below on how to check this)

4) Source some new tyres by searching online for the best price. Remember to record the size of your current tyres by noting down the code that is written on the side of your tyres. Most websites will use your vehicle registration to match the correct tyres to your vehicle.

Remember, if you’re in any doubt at all, take your vehicle to a trained professional.

KwikFit offer free tyre inspections, and they will give you expert advice on when to change the car tyres to keep your vehicle legal and most importantly, safe.

The 20p Trick – Check Depth

The 20p trick is the quickest and easiest method of checking your tyre tread depth.

The minimum legal tread depth of a tyre on UK roads is 1.6mm.

Which means ALL tyres on your vehicle must have a tread depth of 1.6mm or greater.

Not only is driving with tyres under this limit illegal, it’s also highly dangerous for you, your family and other road users.

In fact, it is actually recommended that tyres should be replaced once the tread depth gets to 3.0mm and under.

Tests have shown that tyres that are under this depth perform worse under braking conditions, especially when the roads are wet, than newer tyres, meaning your stopping distances increase. Which means it will take longer for your car to slow down or stop in case of an emergency event in front of you.

Remember, if you are caught driving with defective tyres or with tyres that have a tread depth of 1.6mm or under, you could face a hefty fine and 3 points on your licence.

So how can you tell what your tread depth is using a 20 pence piece coin?

Well it’s quite simple, as this video shows.

While You’re There…

Don’t forget to check your tyre pressures.

Over inflated or under inflated tyres will ensure your tyres wear out quicker, cost you more in fuel expenses, and will hamper the performance and handling on the road, especially in wet or icy conditions.

You can find the correct pressures for your car and tyres on the side of the drivers inner door or central support column.

Invest in a home tyre inflator that connects to your car, that way you always have a tyre inflator in your vehicle and don’t need to pay the expensive prices at petrol stations to inflate your tyres.


If you are unsure about the condition of your tyres, or if you have any doubt, book them in to get inspected at your local garage, or a national chain like KwikFit or ATS.

KwikFit offer a free, no obligation inspection of all your tyres, which includes lifting your vehicle off the ground so they can inspect the whole tyre, while ATS Euromaster offers a more in depth look at your vehicle, called a Vehicle Health Check.

Remember, not only is having tyres that are not fit for purpose illegal on UK roads, it could also compromise the safety of you, your family, and other road users around you.

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Questions & Comments

If you have a question or a comment on this article on when to change the car tyres on your vehicle, please use the comments box below. I’ll try my best to reply to each and every one of your questions, comments and suggestions.

Stay Safe. Stay Secure.


My name is Richard.

I'm 40 years old. And I have nearly 20 years experience in various safety and security industries.

I'm here for you, sharing all my knowledge and experience to help you create a safe and secure home for you and your family.

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