MOT Tire Wear Rules

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MOT Tire Wear Rules
In the U.K., tires are governed by the Ministry of Transportation. (tower of tires image by Lario Tus from

In the United Kingdom, tire wear rules are administered by the Ministry of Transportation, or MOT. Understanding that driving around on bad tires is a safety hazard, the MOT sets standards for acceptable safety limits for tires. Every time a car is inspected for licensing, the MOT runs an inspection, which include tires. If your tires are not in compliance, you will have to obtain a better set of tires before the car is deemed roadworthy.

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Thread Wear

The MOT inspects the tires (spelt "tyres" in the United Kingdom) for thread wear on the tires, using a gauge.The threads must be at least 1.6 millimetres deep. This must be for a continuous band around the tire. If the tire has a flat spot with thread depth less than 1.6 millimetres, the tire failed. Furthermore, the acceptable thread depth must be at least 3/4 inside the tire, and the outer circumference as well. In other words, the tire cannot have one side or another bald, which indicates wheels out of alignment.

Overall Condition

The tire cannot have side bulges, nor can they have any cuts or severe scraping along the sides. The condition of the valve stems are checked, for any cutting or scraping. In a nutshell, the overall integrity of the tire is inspected.

Car Fouling

Aftermarket tires may rub on the car's inner fenders. The MOT inspector looks for this. She looks for signs of scraping on the tire, and determines if the tire is acceptable to use on the car. She looks at the tire size, and if any interference problems are present with the inner fenders. If problems are present, the car cannot be licensed until the problem is corrected.

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