How long do car tyres last?

How long do car tyres last?

When was the last time you changed your tyres?  

How long tyres last and how many miles you can get out of them depend on several factors, and it’s vital to recognise when your tyres need replacing.  

While obvious damage like a puncture might be easy to spot, tyres may also need replacing if worn down or simply too old.  

So, how do you know when your tyres need to be replaced, and how much will it cost? Read on to find out how many miles tyres should last and the signs you need to change yours. 

How long do tyres last? 

Most tyre manufacturers and safety groups state tyres last for 5-6 years before needing replacing.  

The European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation (ETRTO) states that tyres may be considered new for five years from the date of manufacture. However, tyres can last long if they are undamaged or not used often.  

You should check your tyres regularly for signs of wear and damage, but most garages recommend having them professionally checked.  

Professionals with a trained eye will easily spot immediate hazards and any areas of damage that might get worse if left unresolved. 

It might be better to consider the number of miles tyres last rather than thinking of it in a time period. 

How many miles do tyres last on a new car? 

When it comes to mileage, your tyre life will depend on your vehicle, your driving style, and the type of roads you drive on.  

The average driver should get a minimum of 20,000 miles out of their front tyres on a standard front-wheel drive car, while rear tyres can get up to 40,000 miles.  

Learn about replacing wheel bearings and their cost 

How much are car tyres? 

As with any repairs to your vehicle, costs will vary depending on the garage you choose and the type of tyre you choose. 

Generally, the smaller and narrower the tyre, the cheaper it will be. Thick tyres suitable for 4x4s are much more expensive than a standard run-around car.  

When buying car tyres, you really do get what you pay for, and it’s best to spend a little more. Fitting the wrong type of tyre on your car to save money could risk your and others’ safety.  

Bumper can help you split the cost of tyres with our car repair finance options. Find a local garage here. 

Can car tyres be repaired? 

It’s possible to repair car tyres, but it depends on the extent of the damage. Factors that will decide whether a tyre can be repaired or not are: 

  • Location of damage — If you have a puncture in the middle three-quarters of your tyre, it is known as a minor damage area and could be repaired. If it is on the outer quarter (also known as the sidewall), it’s a major damage area and will most likely have to be replaced. 
  • Scale of damage — The scale of the damage that has caused the puncture will also decide whether it can be repaired or not. The British Tyre Manufacturers Association (BTMA) will only allow repairs for tyres with damage up to 6mm in diameter. 
  • Condition — When deciding if it is worth repairing, Your garage may also assess the general condition of your tyres, including the tread depth. 

When to change your car tyres 

Your tyres may look healthy, but there could be invisible damage. These are the main warning signs that you should change your tyres.  

1. Punctures 

You will likely have to replace your tyre if you have a puncture. However, depending on the depth and position of the damage, it may be possible to repair very minor punctures. 

2. Worn down treads 

One of the most common reasons for replacing your tyres is when the tread wears away and becomes too shallow. You can check this by yourself using a tool called a tyre gauge or by following this simple tip. 

3. Discolourations & bulges 

Look for any unusual discolouration or bulging in your tyre periodically. These are signs that something is wrong. 

4. Exposed bead wiring 

Old tyres can be brittle and age-racked with wear. Check for exposed or broken wire beads on your tyres, as this is another key sign they need a change. 

Split the cost of new car tyres 

Realising you need new tyres isn’t always pleasant. Depending on your car needs, tyres can quickly rack up a hefty bill. However, Bumper’s here to help you split the new car tyre cost with interest-free monthly payments.  

Learn more about how our pay later tyre scheme can help you today. 

How to check your tyre tread  

The easiest way to check your tyre tread is via the 20p test.

Take a 20p coin and place it in your tyre treads. If the tyre covers the outer band of the coin, then your tread is still within the legal limit.  

If not, it may need replacing, and you should visit your local garage as soon as possible. If you need more information on what to check on your car regularly, check out our handy guide to car checks before driving. 

What is the legal minimum depth for car tyres? 

The legal minimum depth of tyre tread for cars and other light vehicles is 1.6mm across the middle three-quarters of the tyre.  

If it’s any less than this, you could be fined up to £2,500 and get 3 points on your licence. This is your sign to check your tyres! 

What are tyre DOT codes? 

When you look closely, you’ll see each tyre is embossed with a unique set of markings. One of these markings is known as a DOT code. This acts as a unique code for your tyre, meaning you can identify how old the tyre is. Perfect if you want a cheat code or check your tyre’s age! 

How to read DOT codes 

DOT codes are made up of a string of several numbers and letters. But you only need to worry about the final four digits. 

You can find a DOT code by: 

  • Look on the tyre’s sidewall for code starting with “DOT”  
  • Take note of the final four digits, as these indicate the production date (e.g. 4520) 
  • The first two numbers indicate the calendar week the tyre was created (45 in our example). The last two numbers are the year of production. So, “20” would represent 2020.  

DOT codes are a handy way to check your tyre’s age. Don’t forget to check the spare tyre’s age, too! You don’t want this to be too old to use if you ever need it. 

Why do you need to change car tyres? 

Apart from the risk of a fine, the condition of your tyres can also have a big impact on the car's performance. Worn-down tyres may have reduced grip, which could impact acceleration and breaking, so it really pays to have tyres that perform well. 

You should also change your tyres in pairs on the back and front. Because tyre tread can have a big impact on handling, replacing just one tyre could cause your car to be unbalanced when moving. 

What should you do if your tyres are too old? 

If your tyres are too old or have signs of wear, it’s time for a change to protect your safety. This means a spot for tyre shopping. 

However, remember these points to ensure a good fit before buying the first tyres you see. 

  • Buy tyres for the right driving conditions (e.g. winter tyres vs summer tyres) 
  • Check your car manual for the correct size, speed rating, and load index 
  • Find a tread pattern that matches your driving style 
  • Consider different brands, as some are known for long-term performance 
  • Check the tyre warranties and guarantees for the best deal 
  • Consider professional installation at a local garage if you’re not adept at tyre changes 

How to extend your tyre life 

There comes a point when all tyres need a change. But you can extend their life by looking after them well. Here are a few tips to keep your tyres in good condition. 

1. Inflation 

Proper inflation is critical for a healthy car. To ensure your tyres are inflated, frequently check their pressure using a gauge and top them up as needed. 

2. Balance 

If you install new tyres or notice vibrations when driving, you need to balance your tyres. You equalise the weight distribution around the tyre assembly and wheel to balance your tyres. This improves driving performance and reduces stress on the tyre.  

3. Drive carefully 

Harsh acceleration, sudden braking, sharp turns, and irresponsible driving can increase tyre wear and tear. 

4. Don’t overload your car 

Overloading your vehicle can put extra strain on your tyres and increase wear. Check your car’s manual to see the recommended weight capacity.  

5. Rotate tyres 

Rotate your tyres approximately every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. This extended their wear and overall lifestyle, as tyres are no longer worn down in the same place. For example, you might rotate your tyres from side to side or back to front. 

How long tyres last - The bottom line 

Keeping on top of your tyre changes is critical for your safety, that of other road users, and your bank account. So, avoid last-minute costs and frustrating flat tyres and check your tyres regularly. You’ll thank yourself when you catch old tyres early! 

Do you need to replace your tyres? Are you looking for a garage that can split your payments into interest-free monthly instalments? Choose from 3,000 locations and sort it today with Bumper.

Related Posts