Drivers put themselves at risk of paying up to £27 million in fines in 2016, as 2.5 million vehicles failed their MOT tests with bald or defective tyres.
The Freedom of Information data obtained by Cardiff-based Confused.com shows that one in four (23%) MOTs are failed by defective tyres, with ‘bald’ tyres being the most common tyre-related reason for rejection.
What’s more, over 32,000 penalty points were handed out to almost 9,000 drivers for the offence in 2016 alone.
And with motorists facing three points on their license and up to £2,500 in fines per tyre, according to further research by Confused.com, penalties for tyre offences are setting drivers back by hefty sums.
Those motorists who have faced fines have been forced to pay £2,700 on average for driving with bald or defective tyres. Many have felt the full force of penalty points, too, with the average offender being stung with six points and a whopping 38% finding themselves disqualified from driving as a result.
|Perhaps it is no wonder drivers are being caught out, with many failing to notice their illegal tyres until they reach the garage. One in three (35%) motorists who have driven with defective tyres only realised when their car was checked at the garage.||Useful Links
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A further quarter (28%) only noticed when it was pointed out to them by a relative or friend and with the Department of Transport proposing to extend the MOT period for new cars from three years to four years, we could see even more drivers unwittingly fined for defective tyre offences.
The disclosure comes after the Local Government Authority’s warning and advice to motorists considering buying part worn tyres.
Road safety group TyreSafe is urging Britain’s motorists to be extremely vigilant if considering used and not new tyres. Results of the most recent investigations in which TyreSafe has been involved, just four of the 67 used tyres inspected were sold in compliance with legal regulations.
Of those, more than half, 58%, had defects impairing their safety, including poor repairs, structural damage and age-related deterioration. In two operations where tyres were fitted directly to the vehicle, all four used tyres supplied by the retailers were of the wrong specification and mixed tread patterns on the same axle, which is likely to have significant impact on cornering and braking.