Tyres and the Law

European Regulations — "E" Marking

Radial car and 4x4 tyres are type approved in accordance with ECE regulations, and carry the requisite mark on the tyre’s sidewall, for example, E3 0162.

Consumer protection regulations prohibit the sale of car radial or 4x4 tyres which are not "E" marked.

Minimum Legal Tread Depth

The main reason a tyre has tread is to disperse water efficiently. The less tread you have, the more likely you are to skid or aquaplane on wet roads and lose steering control.

It is illegal to run a tyre with less than 1.6mm of tread round the entire outer circumference of the tyre. Tyre manufacturers build a number of tread wear indicator bars into the tread area of their tyres which become visible at 1.6mm. These serve as a useful visual reminder to change your tyres.

However, wet weather braking and cornering efficiency reduce considerably as the tyre wears down and Valuetyres.co.uk strongly advises that you change them before you reach the legal limit.

The penalty for driving with illegal tyres on your car is very severe. There is a compulsory driving licence endorsement of three penalty points and a fine of up to £2,500 for each illegal tyre.

Stopping Distance
Relative stopping distances of tyres (not to scale) 

Radial and Cross Ply Tyres

You can fit different makes of tyre on the same axle or on different axles providing they are all the same size and type of construction.

It is illegal to fit cross ply and radial construction tyres on the same axle and to fit cross ply tyres on the rear axle with radial or bias belted on the front axle.

It is not advisable to mix winter or on/off road with normal road tyres.

Tyre Speed and Load Markings

All tyres are marked with their load carrying and speed capabilities. For maximum safety, it is important that the tyres you choose are suitable for the maximum speed at which your car can be driven. The law requires that in terms of load carrying and speed capability the tyre fitted must be suitable for the purpose to which the vehicle will be put.

Tyre Speed Markings

Speed

Maximum car speed for which tyre is suitable

Symbol

km/h

mph

N

140

87

P

150

94

Q

160

100

R

170

105

S

180

113

T

190

118

U

200

125

H

210

130

V

240

150

W

270

168

Z

300

186

Tyre load markings

Load Index Max Load KGs spacer Load Index Max Load KGs spacer Load Index Max Load KGs

65

290

 

76

400

 

87

545

66

300

 

77

412

 

88

560

67

303

 

78

425

 

89

580

68

315

 

79

437

 

90

600

69

325

 

80

450

 

91

615

70

335

 

81

462

 

92

630

71

345

 

82

475

 

93

650

72

355

 

83

487

 

94

670

73

365

 

84

500

 

95

680

74

375

 

85

515

 

96

710

75

387

 

86

530

 

97

730


call us Secure Payments