There is an ‘unknown’ tyre rule regarding mixing and matching your tyres on the same axle that could result in serious consequences. Most people are feeling the cost-of-living strain with inflation, but UK drivers are being warned about cutting costs on their tyre maintenance as it could cost them a £100 fine and 3 penalty points on their licence!
Even though it may be tempting to choose the most affordable option when getting a new tyre, it could be a costly mistake. According to the law, the tyres on the front axles must match, as should the tyres on the rear. Though you can have different tyre types on the front axle compared to the rear axle.
Graham Conway, managing director at Select Car Leasing, warned motorists that “there are big differences between the types of tyres available – beyond just the brand – and mixing and matching them can be dangerous and illegal.”
It is important that the matching tyres have the same ‘construction’ i.e. the same ply type. This is most commonly ‘radial-ply’ or ‘cross-ply’ and refers to the layers of construction that sit under the surface rubber and gives the tyre strength. They should also have the same tread pattern and depth which can vary widely between manufacturers.
Not only is having unmatching tyres considered an offence in the eyes of the law, it could also lead to inconsistent performance, poor handling, a higher chance of catastrophic blowouts, and skidding due to poor water displacement. If you have extremely mismatched tyres on the same axle then it could even cause damage to your wheel bearings and clutch, as well as costing you more in fuel!
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