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Performing the 20p Tyre Test: Are Your Tyres Road-Worthy?

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When evaluating the lifespan and functionality of your car tyres, you should perform the 20p tyre test. This shows you the legal and safe minimum for tyres.

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According to a survey in 2020, a staggering 68% of drivers were unaware of the legal minimum for their tyre tread's depth. In the UK, too-thin or improperly worn tyres can be a legal matter, with penalties including fines and points on your license. As such, it's important to double check your tyres regularly to ensure they're the right depth.

Without professional help, how can you do this? The 20p tyre test is the quickest, easiest method that can be performed anywhere.

What Is The 20p Test For Tyres?

This simple test offers UK drivers a handy way of checking their tyre tread depth - regularly and at any time - using a single 20p coin. Merely place the coin in the main tread channels multiple times, at various points around the tyre.

If you can see any part of the outer band of the coin face, your tyre tread is too shallow. In fact, it may be illegal, as the minimum is 1.6 mm.

The 20p tyre test is convenient because it allows you to check multiple areas around the tyre, without the need for special equipment. It's recommended that you perform this test once every 4-6 months, and especially after subjecting your tyres to hard wear and tear.

If you've driven off road, carried heavy loads, or haven't submitted your car to an MOT test or servicing in recent months, checking with a 20p will allow you to gauge the:

  • General wear and tear on your vehicle's tyres
  • Overall tread depth
  • Uneven wear
  • Bulging or other subtle damage

This ensures you not only keep your tyre tread above the legal minimum, but spot issues early and have them addressed. Uneven wear and bulging that's allowed to continue may lead to cracks, leaks, and blowouts.

Is The 20p Test Necessary?

It's possible to check your vehicle in for a full servicing and evaluation at a trusted garage like Autofusion. However, the 20p test is a quick way to verify if you need new tyres or repairs on your vehicle. Uneven wear may indicate a suspension or alignment issue, while bulging could mean that your tyres are the incorrect model for your car.

Likewise, an MOT test failure may occur if your tyres are unsuitable for your car or too worn out. Conducting this test with a 20p coin will let you be aware of these issues in advance and have them fixed before crucial inspections.

Likewise, they can alert you to over- or underinflated tyres, which can be a safety problem. The more uniform and accurate your tyre tread is, the safer you will be on the road. It not only prevents blowouts, but also improves your grip while driving, which can prevent sliding.

Speak To The Experts

If you're unsure about tyre tread depths or have any questions about the 20p test, talk to your local tyre professionals at Autofusion. Our dedicated team can provide you with unrivalled tyre advice, offer you expert fitting solutions, and ensure you fit the right tyres for your car.