3.6 million drivers wait until MOT failure before changing their tyres

Kwik Fit | Monday 7th September 2015 11:38am

  • Regular checks could save drivers time and money
  • Drivers continuing to use tyres passed the minimum legal limit of 1.6mm
  • Kwik Fit launch 'tread buy back' campaign

Research from Kwik Fit, the UK’s leading automotive servicing and repair company, reveals that 3.6 million motorists wait until MOT failure before changing their tyresi.

Kwik Fit warns that not only can illegal tyres leave motorists risking three penalty points and £2,500 in fines, but even more importantly, can seriously compromise their vehicle’s safety and handling. With the end of summer approaching and the weather turning colder and wetter, drivers should think carefully about their tyre health and not leave it until the MOT for them to be checked.

The legal limit for minimum depth of the tread on car tyres is 1.6 millimetres, across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre. However, tyre performance deteriorates well before reaching this limit - at 1.6 millimetres in wet weather it takes almost 40 per cent further to stop at 50 mph than it does at 7mmii. This is equivalent to 8 car lengths of reduced stopping distance.

Roger Griggs, Communications Director at Kwik Fit said: “With vehicles being increasingly sophisticated in monitoring their own maintenance intervals, drivers are often leaving it to their cars to warn them of potential issues. Motorists should realise that responsibility for vehicle health and safety lies directly in their hands. Without proper care, motorists could land themselves either in legal trouble or in an incident on the road.

“Tyres should be the number one priority for drivers - after all, they are the only part of a car which keeps it on the road. Even though at 1.6 millimetres of tread a tyre is legal, it will not have much grip on the road and travelling in adverse weather conditions can be treacherous. That’s why leading tyre manufacturers recommend that drivers change their tyres at 3mm of tread depth to maintain optimum performance. It’s very worrying that so many drivers let their tread depth drop so low and leave it to the MOT to check – after all that could be up to a year away.”

With this research in mind Kwik Fit has launched a month long campaign to help drivers top up their tread with a ‘tread buy back’ scheme. Throughout September, customers who trade in their worn premium tyres* could receive up to £35 off new Michelin CrossClimate tyres.

Griggs continues: “In an industry first, we are launching a unique tyre buyback scheme, offering customers who purchase new tyres a discount for any remaining tread depth over 3mm on their existing premium tyres.

“This will give drivers the opportunity to switch to brand new tread while not losing out financially on the final amount of tread on their tyres – while this old tyre may be legal, it is not going to perform as well in adverse weather as their new tyre.”

Kwik Fit’s recycling programme handles around 5,000,000 tyres every year. The fully audited scheme ensures that these tyres are repurposed for a number of uses. Kwik Fit recycled tyres have been used in sports pitches, carpet underlay, drainage systems, roof tiles, road surfaces, playground surfaces and even laminate flooring.

* This offer is only available to customers who trade in Michelin, Continental, Pirelli, Goodyear, Bridgestone, Hankook and Dunlop tyres

- Ends -

Note to editors

  1. Research carried out by ICM amongst 2,003 UK adults. 79% of UK adult population has at least one car. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria based on a UK adult population of 50,502,000 adults

The legal limit for minimum depth of the tread on car tyres is 1.6 millimetres, across the central ¾ of the tread around the complete circumference of the tyre. For safety reasons most experts recommend that tyres are replaced before the legal limit is reached. Many vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing at 3 millimetres. To see the impact on braking distance of different tyre tread depths, click here. At 1.6 millimetres in wet weather it takes an extra car length (8 metres) to stop at 50 mph than if your tread was 3 millimetres.

About Kwik Fit
Established in 1971, the Kwik Fit Group is one of the largest independent automotive parts, repair and replacement specialists in the world. Kwik Fit has over 600 service centres across the UK and more than 200 mobile tyre fitting vehicles, making it the UK's leading tyre, exhaust, brake and MoT specialist.

For further information please contact: 
Amrit Nijjer / Antonia Green
Citigate Dewe Rogerson 
Tel: 020 7282 2803 / 020 7282 2967

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