An 'unknown' tyre rule could cost UK drivers a £100 fine and three points on their licence.
Drivers are all too aware of keeping up with their tyre maintenance, but here is one rule you might not have been aware of.
Many people are feeling the strain from the rising cost of living and if they suffer a puncture, they might be tempted to hunt out the cheapest option and even mix and match their tyres.
As a result, the Managing Director at Select Car Leasing, Graham Conway, has warned motorists against this and what they are risking if they do.
Unknown tyre rule you should know or risk £100 fine
Mixing and matching your tyres - where you have different sorts of tyres on the same axle - is an offence that could see you getting into trouble with the law, Mr Conway explained.
He added: "To a lot of people, all tyres look similar, and you might assume they all perform in the same way so long as you choose the correct size.
"But there are big differences between the types of tyres available - beyond just the brand - and mixing and matching them can be dangerous and illegal.
"While it might be tempting to simply choose the most affordable tyre you can, particularly if you’re ordering online and then have it fitted at a garage, you could be making a costly mistake.
"In the eyes of the law, tyres must be of a consistent type on the axle".
The tyres on the front axle must match as should the tyres on the rear.
However, you can have different types of tyres on the front axle compared with the rear axle, Mr Conway has advised.
How to ensure you have matching tyres
There are two major things you should be aware of that constitute 'matching' tyres.
1. The tyres must have the same ‘construction’
The tyres need to be either ‘radial-ply’ or ‘cross-ply’ which are the most common types.
'Ply’ means the layers of construction that sit underneath the surface rubber.
This is what gives the tyre its strength.
2. The tyres should have the same tread pattern and depth
It’s also recommended that tyres should have the same tyre tread pattern and tread depth.
Both of these can vary widely between different manufacturers.
Why do 'matching' tyres matter?
Mr Conway advised that mixing and matching the type of tyre on the same axle means that you’re left with inconsistent performance.
It can also potentially lead to poor handling, and you’re also more likely to experience a catastrophic blowout because of the stresses you’re placing on the system.
Additionally, you're more likely to skid, due to poor water displacement.
Extremely mismatched tyres can cause damage to your wheel bearings and your clutch, as well as having a negative effect on fuel economy.