Take our quiz: find out how much you know about your car tyres

Test your knowledge of tyres (Picture iStock/PeterSchreiber.media)

Our car tyres are one of the vehicle’s most important pieces of safety equipment. They’re its only contact with the road so keeping them in good condition is vital for reliable and safe motoring.

But how much do you actually know about them? Take our quiz to find out.


As tyres are such a crucial part of motoring we set the bar quite high for this quiz. Well done! You certainly seem to know your tyres.

Bad luck! Tyres are so important for safe, reliable motoring we think every driver should know a reasonable amount about them.

#1. The minimum legal car tyre tread depth is…

The minimum legal tread depth is 1.6mm. But safety experts say tyres’ performance declines dramatically when the tread goes below 3.0mm.

#2. Tyre experts claim each tyre’s valve cap is vital.

It’s true. The cap prevents debris from the road getting in and damaging the delicate internal part of the valve.

#3. The maximum penalty for dangerous tyres is…

Proving how seriously the authorities take the condition of our tyres, the maximum penalty is £2500 and three penalty points per tyre, so four dodgy tyres and you could lose your licence and £10,000!

#4. How frequently do experts say you should check your tyre pressures?

Ideally car tyres should be checked once a fortnight but at the very least once a month.

#5. What temperatures are winter tyres designed to give improved safety benefits in?

Although they’re called winter tyres, a more accurate name is cold weather tyres. They’re designed to perform better than regular ‘summer’ tyres when temperatures drop below 7 degrees C.

#6. What’s the difference in stopping distance in the wet from 50mph when the tyre tread is 1.6mm compared to 3mm?

It takes 8m (about two car lengths) more to stop when tyres are at 1.6mm. Many safety experts and some tyre companies recommend you renew your tyres when the tread depth is down to 3mm. This is because the performance, particularly stopping distance in the wet, deteriorates dramatically when tread is below 3mm.

#7. In the writing on the side of the tyre, the letter R appears before the wheel size in inches. What does the R stand for?

This stems from the old days when tyres were either radial or crossply in their construction. Now virtually all tyres are radial (the belts making up the tyre carcass are at 90 degrees to the direction of travel) but the R remains.

#8. If your car has a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System you don’t have to check your tyres.

This is most definitely false. Most of the TPMS systems that have had to be fitted to cars since 2014 will only alert the driver after a significant loss of air pressure.

#9. Your recommended tyre pressures should be shown in at least one of three places. These are:

You will always find recommended fuel pressures in the user manual. They will also usually be either in the door pillar or inside the fuel filler flap.

#10. One of the most important pieces of information shown on the tyre is its speed rating. How is this depicted?

The speed rating is the maximum speed the tyre is approved for. It’s shown by a single letter between N (rated for a maximum 87mph) and Y (up to 186mph).


We’re supporting Highways England’s ‘Go Left’ campaign.  If you break down on the motorway, remember to go left.

Find out more on the Highways England website.

20 comments on “Take our quiz: find out how much you know about your car tyres

  1. Pamela Payne 28/06/2021 8:20 PM

    Really useful quiz, helpful in understanding the importance of checking tyres

  2. Kay 28/06/2021 8:25 PM

    Good quiz on tyres I need to read up as only got 5 out of 10

  3. John Holiday 29/06/2021 8:49 AM

    Useful. Data needs to be more widely publicised.

  4. Frank Tedd 29/06/2021 10:13 AM

    I need to learn more about tyres

  5. david underwood 29/06/2021 2:24 PM

    I would not let my tyres go below 2 mm what ever the law is.

  6. John Edward Stokoe 29/06/2021 4:08 PM

    I didn’t realise how little I knew about tyres, I need to learn more.

  7. Stuart Iles 29/06/2021 4:09 PM

    7 out of 10 I should have done better

  8. James Gilpin 29/06/2021 4:20 PM

    Question 9 asked for tyre pressure, answer related to fuel pressure??

  9. Denise 29/06/2021 4:39 PM

    I def need to learn more about tyres

  10. Richard Gully 29/06/2021 4:51 PM

    Reasonable score, but very informative

  11. Valerie Smith 29/06/2021 5:20 PM

    Oh dear! Glad I took the test. However my wrong answers except one indicated I was erring on the side of caution eg I thought the tread should be 2.00mm.
    I didn’t realise the penalty for faulty tyres.

  12. Linda Hayward 29/06/2021 5:22 PM

    And me

  13. Reginald Casbeard 30/06/2021 1:15 PM

    Having driven since the beginning of the 1960s in very cold weather conditions in Germany, the Troodos mountains in Cyprus and Scotland. I have been a white van man and a truck driver I have driven millions of miles. I have never ever used used winter tyres. In fact i don’t know of any transport company that uses them. I think if you did a poll of all the drivers in the U.K. you would find that winter tyre users were less than 10%. They are just another way of taking money from motorist.

  14. Geoff Eddy 30/06/2021 2:53 PM

    I lived in Canada for 10 years and would not have been with it them. You refer to cost but it’s minimal as I had 4 extra second hand rims with winter tyres on so you swap as necessary. You’re not wearing out summer tyres when the winter ones are installed and vice versa. Obviously it’s different here in the uk. I lived in the south for most of my life so didn’t even see snow locally. No need for winter tyres

  15. Linda Malam 03/07/2021 8:15 AM

    I must read up on tyres more and make sure I am more aware of the rights and wrongs of the laws surrounding tyres .

  16. Mr S A Goodger 03/07/2021 9:27 AM

    Always good to be updated
    Thank you. Stephen

  17. Wendy Bradbury 04/07/2021 9:02 AM

    Good to do Test and made me think. also the Go Left think everyone should look at thanks.

  18. David 07/07/2021 8:50 AM

    Did better than I expected – very useful – made me think.

  19. Erika Ward 07/07/2021 3:57 PM

    Well I definitely need to learn more about tyres. Your quiz was very enlightening. Erika W

  20. Thomas L Harvey 07/07/2021 8:05 PM

    Got me on three, Bet a lot of people failed on same ones?

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