Kwik Fit is claiming that over 10 million tyres on UK roads could be dangerous, because of their age.
The company’s study found that just 17% of drivers know how to identify when their car’s tyres were manufactured, and thus how old they are. With many motorists cutting down the number of miles they drive each year, drivers may find their tyres reach the end of their life, well before the tread nears the legal limit of 1.6mm.
Just 17% of drivers know how to identify when their car’s tyres were manufactured
The research showed that well over half (59%) of UK drivers are unaware that their tyres display the information needed to work out their age, and that 24% are aware, but unable to interpret the numbers. This means 83% of drivers don’t know how to assess the age of their tyres.
However, although they may not know how to tell the exact age of their tyres, over 6 million drivers thought their car had a tyre over five years old. Combined with those who don’t know the age of their tyres (14%), it may mean that more than 11 million tyres could be out of date and putting the driver at risk.
Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “Tyres contain anti-oxidising chemicals to slow down the rate of ageing, but the tyres need to be in use for these to be effective. In other words, infrequent use or poor storage can accelerate the ageing process and make tyres unroadworthy. Low mileage, older cars tend to be most at risk from premature ageing – as their owners assume there is no problem if they can still see plenty of tread.
“We would recommend drivers consider changing a tyre that’s more than five years old, even if it’s not down to the legal tread limit. If motorists are unsure about the age of their tyres or would like an expert opinion on their condition, they can bring them in to any Kwik Fit to have them checked over.”
Keeping your tyres in good condition is essential, but replacing them every five years is unlikely to be necessary. Every 7-10 years is more likely, as long as the tyres are otherwise maintained in good condition and the car to which they’re fitted is used regularly.