Bald tyres accounts for one in four failed MOTs in the UK
Data obtained by Confused.com under the Freedom of Information Act revealed one in four failed MOTs were because of a deficient tyre, with baldness being the most common reason for rejection.
That same problem also accounted for 9,000 drivers receiving a combined total of 32,000 penalty points last year alone.
Driving with a bald tyre carries a maximum three penalty points and a £2,500 fine per wheel. However, the data showed that on average motorists paid £2,700 in fines – suggesting many were driving with more than one dodgy wheel.
UK drivers put themselves at risk of paying up to £27 million in fines in 2016, as new research shows 2.5 million drivers failed their MOT tests for driving with bald or defective tyres.
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The average offender was also slapped with six points on their licence – and almost 40 per cent were disqualified from driving.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor of confused.com, said: “It’s pretty shocking to find out that 2.5 million drivers have failed their MOTs as a result of not checking their tyres regularly.
“We understand that arranging to have your tyres changed seems like a hassle, and we know some drivers are concerned about how big a hole it’s going to burn in their pockets.
"But motorists need to ask themselves if it’s really worth risking three points on their license and enormous fines of up to £2,500 per tyre."
Despite the repercussions, convenience appears to be the main reason why motorists are continuing to drive after realising their tyres are illegal.
Thousands of UK motorists don't bother checking their tyres until it's too late
More than a third (34 per cent) did not get their tyres changed straight away because they didn’t have time, while a quarter (24 per cent) said they could not afford it at the time. And a further quarter (23 per cent) said the garage could not fit them in sooner.
Lack of education about the legality of driving with bald or defective tyres seems to play a role, too.
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Over half (52 per cent) of motorists feel more should be done to help people understand the law. And one in two (50 per cent) agree that more should be done to raise awareness of the dangers of driving with bald or defective tyres. Over half (52 per cent) say they would find it helpful to have an alert or warning before their tyres are worn below the legal tread depth.
Website Confused.com has launched an online tyre tool which allows drivers to compare tyres and book a fitting for a single, pay-on-the-day fee.
Drivers can compare the cost of budget, mid-range and premium tyres by entering their car registration, picking their tyres and choosing from a range of local fitters at a time and date to suit them.
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