Driving with a defective tyre

Q: I was driving to my friend’s house a week ago and my vehicle clipped the kerb. I didn’t think anything of it at the time as it was a really minor incident and I hadn’t hit anything, but further down the road, the police stopped me and told me my tyre was defective.

They gave me a fixed penalty for driving with a defective tyre. I have three points already but don’t want to have to sit my test again as a new driver. What do I do, as I genuinely didn’t know the tyre was defective? The officer gave me a fixed penalty. 

My vehicle clipped the kerb; further down the road, the police stopped me and told me my tyre was defective

A: Did clipping the kerb cause the defect with the tyre? If so, you have a potential S48 argument. This means that if you can show you had no reasonable cause to believe the tyre was defective then the court won’t impose any points against you. You will however need to take the matter to court to put this argument forward.

If the defect was because you clipped the kerb, you would have a strong case to show it was reasonable for you not to know about the defect prior to driving. The burden will be on you to show on the balance of probabilities you didn’t know.

If the argument doesn’t succeed, the only way to avoid sitting your test again is to avoid the points. You would need to ask the court to impose a short ban instead of the points.

It’s not an easy argument as the court ’s starting point is always to impose the sentence for the offence, but it’s certainly possible if you can show the consequences revocation would have on you.

If you don’t want to be revoked, don’t accept the fixed penalty. If you do, the DVLA will write to you and the revocation will be automatic. There is no discretion over this. You have to request a court hearing to have any chance to avoid the points. 

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FirstCar's legal expert is Emma Patterson, who runs Patterson Law, which specialises in motoring cases. If you've got a legal question, email us at info@firstcar.co.uk and we'll get Emma to answer it for you. If you need the advice or representation of a great motoring lawyer, you can contact Emma or one of her colleagues, through her website.