Skip navigation warns drivers: Bald tyres can mean insurance claims are denied

29 Sep, 2011

bald car tyresDrivers could see their motor insurance claims denied and face fines of up to £10,000, simply by failing to take proper care of their tyres.

One defective or bald tyre could see drivers hit with a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points¹ or up to £5,000 and 6 points for two defective tyres.

In fact if all four tyres were defective, the maximum fine could be as much as £10,000 with a whopping 12 penalty points.

As Tyre Safety month kicks off,’s new poll of drivers also reveals that many of us don’t know how to keep our tyres roadworthy. We interviewed 2,000 motorists who told us:

  • 57% of drivers don’t know the correct tread depth for their tyres which is 1.6mm
  • 58% don’t know the correct pressure of their tyres
  • 18-24 year olds are least likely to know how to put air in their tyres
  • 87.4% of people do not change their tyres for the winter weather

According to the poll, 58% of people do not know what the correct tyre pressure is for their vehicle with18-24 year olds being the key culprits. On top of this, 1.4% of people don’t even realise that their tyres need air!

Gareth Kloet, Head of Car Insurance at said: “Tyre maintenance may not sound like the most exciting topic on the planet but is important to basic road safety. If your tyres have too much air or too little this can wear the tread of tyres down quickly.”

“If a tyre has a tread of less than 1.6mm it is qualified as an illegal tyre. If the police stop someone with an illegal tyre they will be fined up to £2,500 for each illegal tyre. If someone is in a crash and their tyres are below the legal tread limit, a fine can be issued causing their insurance to be denied.”

“Tyres must be checked on a regular basis to ensure they are up to road safety standards. An easy way of checking tyre tread is the 20p check. Place a 20p coin into the main tread of the tyre and if the rim of the coin is covered by the tread this shows it is a legal road worthy tyre.” tips on how to maintain car tyres:

1) Check tyre pressures and adjust at least once a month. Uneven inflation between tyres affects the driving qualities of your vehicle and makes the tyres wear unevenly.

2) Check the tyre tread – Worn down tyre tread is more likely to cause a sliding accident and lower the traction of your car. It is recommended to replace your tyres before the tread gets less than 1.6mm.

3) Store the tyres in proper conditions – Keep tyres in the right place to ensure nothing affects the rubber of the tyres. You should avoid storing tyres in a place where the temperature is above 77 ºF or below 32 ºF. It is also necessary to keep your tyres away from any form of oils or solvents.

4) Rotate your tyres regularly - Rotate your tyres on a regular basis as this will help to get uniform wear on all your tyres.

5) Replace the tyres - When you replace your tyres, it is important to use tyres of the same size, type and speed rating to those that originally came on the vehicle.

Media information press office   02920 435605

Notes for Editor
¹ Information sourced from
The survey of 2,000 drivers was completed by on behalf of

About was the UK's first price comparison site for car insurance. is one of the biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance, van insurance, motorbike insurance, breakdown cover and energy, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance. is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides a free, objective and unbiased comparison service. By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk

factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding them great deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services, utilities and more.'s service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators. is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. is regulated by the FSA.

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