How many UK drivers are using illegal tyres?

An evaluation at a Shropshire primary school has found that eight out of 25 parents’ cars checked were fitted with illegal or damaged tyres.

The test was conducted by tyre manufacturer Falken at Moorfield Primary School in Newport, Shropshire and underlined the research that has been undertaken by its UK distributor Micheldever.

Micheldever’s research found that over 56 per cent of 8,900 tyres it removed last month had tread depth lower than the legal requirement of 1.6mm.

The school car park check also indentified one tyre that actually had a nail in it, while a further two tyres were over 10 years old.

In order to improve and promote the safety of children being transported to school, Falken provided vouchers for free tyres and fitting to the first five owners with illegally worn or damaged tyres.

Falken’s UK director, Matt Smith, commented: “The results today confirm what our dealers are saying. There are a significant proportion of cars running on illegal or dangerous tyres. Tyres are a crucial element in road safety and for a number of reasons it is often a distress purchase, left until the last minute.”

Smith also cited the current economic climate as a key factor, since families are constantly feeling the strain in a financial sense. Micheldever revealed that pre-recession, in 2008, the number of illegal tyres recorded by the company was at 15 per cent – over 40 per cent lower than today’s figure.

Mrs Su Plant, headmistress at Moorfield Primary School, said that she was “surprised at the results”, adding: “We regularly address road safety with the children, but it would seem that parents need more information about the importance of tyre safety. We thank Falken for its proactive attitude and for providing this service to the parents.”

Paula Holloway was one of the five to receive replacement tyres for her car. Holloway was grateful to receive two new tyres for her Fiat model, saying: “Tyres are not something I think about but today made me realise how important they are.”

Following the success of the event in Shropshire, Falken is now planning to roll out the checks to other schools across the UK, as the company believes that “there is much to do to educate the public about checking tread depth”.

The legal tread depth in the UK is 1.6mm across the width of the tyre, though the tyre industry’s recommendation is to replace the tyre when 2mm remains.

Earlier this year a report from ICM Research said over 10 million tyres in the UK could be considered dangerous.

If you ever need any advice or service work on your vehicle’s tyres you can visit Perrys Service online or consult your nearest Perrys Dealership.