The legal minimum tread depth for car tyres in the United Kingdom is 1.6mm throughout a continuous band comprising the central three quarters of the breadth of tread and round the entire outer circumference of the tyre.
Most car type tyres have tread wear indicators, usually at least six small ribs across the bottom of the main tread grooves, and when the tread surface becomes level with these ribs the tyre is at the legal limit and must be replaced.
One of the features of tyre tread pattern designs is to give good grip in wet conditions. Generally speaking available grip reduces as the tyre wears or as the road surface water depth increases and you should reduce speed in such conditions.
The 1.6mm minimum legal limit applies to:
Cars and passenger vehicles with up to 8 seated passengers – not including the driver.
The minimum legal limit abroad is 3mm.
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