There are a number of essential tyre safety checks motorists should make to ensure their cars are roadworthy, including inflation, tyre tread and always having the right tyres for your vehicle. Tyre tread, though arguably one of the most important checks to make, can see drivers unexpectedly losing their licence if they aren’t on top of things.
Daniel ShenSmith, a barrister who shares legal advice and explainers on his YouTube channel BlackBeltBarrister, explained: “Very often the tyre tread, which everybody knows about, what [drivers] won’t realise is that you could, in theory, lose your licence on four tyres that don’t meet the threshold, because you can you can get three points per tire.”
Although some people may think three points are for the offence overall, Daniel revealed this is “discretionary”.
He continued: “It’s three points per tire. So, simple math will tell you you can reach 12 points on four bad tires which can result in a totting-up ban.
12 points is an obligatory ban of a minimum of six months unless they can show exceptional hardship. I have seen that before in an officer’s report.
“For people that argue about it, it does happen. It can happen, it has happened.
“[Having] the right tyres is a big one because people just forget.”
The RAC explains the legal tyre tread depth for cars in the UK and Europe is 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre, according to law.
The tread must meet this minimum requirement across its complete circumference.
Even letting one tyre wear down below the requirement is “a slippery slope”, according to Daniel.
He said: “If you’re not on top of any one of them, chances are you’re not on top of three or four.
“And then by the time you add up three or four, even if they are lenient and say: ‘I’ll give you three points for this, three points for that’.
“If you’ve already got six points on your licence, and you get three points for one tyre that doesn’t quite meet the threshold, and you’ve got low washer fluid, then that’s six points.
“And if you’ve already got six that makes 12. You’ll be banned from driving if you go to court, unless you can show exceptional hardship.”