New rules are coming in to impact not just classic car and van owners, but might also apply to some of our van driving readers. From September, tyres aged ten years or older cannot be used on the front wheels of buses, coaches or lorries. If it is a minibus you’re driving, then you can’t use them at all.
Also, if your steep mileage means you use re-treaded tyres a lot to save yourself a few quid, those days might be coming to an end sooner than you think. While not being banned outright, these will need to be clearly marked with their original date from the autumn. This is as a result of older tyres being more prone to corrosion which can have deadly consequences should they fail at high speeds.
This follows on from a report by Halfords late last year, which shows that up to four million vehicles across the UK are being driven with bald tyres. A huge 13% of drivers said they were aware that their tyres were not above the legal minimum tread depth.
A massive 65% of people surveyed did not know the laws around maintaining a minimum tread, despite the fact that there are heavy fines if you are caught with your tyres below that level.
And, while we expect van drivers to know a little bit more than Joe Public about the rules of the road, we will bet our bottom dollar there’s a good few of you lot who don’t really know what’s what either.
A tread depth of 1.6mm is the bare minimum for most vehicles, across three quarters of the face of the tyre. (Of course, you knew that, obviously). For LGVs, it’s 1mm. But let’s be honest – when did you last check yours?
Get pulled over for it and not only is there a £2,500 fine for each tyre below that minimum, but there is also three points on your license. Per tyre. Do the maths there – a set of dodgy tires could cost you £10k and 12 points.
Not only is it a sensible precaution for your health, safety and your wallet, but of course its important for other road users too. Bald tyres can reduce the ability to brake and steer, especially in wet weather.
And we’ll end this week with an ‘and finally….’ Of the bad news. If your tyres are below the legal tread depth and you are involved in an accident that could have been avoided had your tyres been road-legal? Yes, you guessed it, it could invalidate your van insurance too.
In the meantime, if your van insurance is due, while we can’t make sure your van is insurance worthy, we can point you in the direction of the best deals around.