Tyre Safety: 10 Year Old Tyres Banned – Find Out Why

Written by John

On January 22, 2021
old tyre

Tyres that are over 10 years old on vehicles are to be banned from February 2021. Here’s the full picture on the latest tyre safety law.

From the 1st of February 2021, tyres over 10 years old on the front axles of lorries, buses, coaches and all single wheels of minibuses (9 to 16 passenger seats) will be banned. The Driver & Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will be enforcing the new legislation at roadside checks as well as the vehicle annual test. It is crucial businesses & drivers affected by this change in law have up to date tyre management systems before 1st Feb 2021.

If you operate a fleet of minibuses or vans you should also take note of this. Having good tyres on can be a big safety factor on your business.

Tyre Safety Law: Consequences of Using Banned Tyres

If you have a heavy vehicle such as an HGV or bus and your tyres are not compliant at the annual test, this would attract a dangerous failure and prohibition. The DVSA enforcement finding such tyres in use will be deemed a dangerous and attractive an ‘S’ marked immediate prohibition notice

On all tyres on all vehicles.HGV’s, trailers over 3.5 tonnes, buses, coaches, and minibuses, the manufacturer’s date code must be legible. If you have rethread tyres this date should be from when the rethread is completed.

We recommend only using new tyres on vehicles. I am sure that many in the tyre fitting industry agree that new tyres are best. Also make sure that they are regularly checked by the drivers using the vehicles.

Manufacturers’ Date Codes and Tyre Safety

Not having a clearly displayed manufacturer date code on tyres fitted to the front steering axle of HGV’s, buses, coaches, or single wheels fitted to a minibus will result in the failure of the annual test. If this is found by the DVSA enforcement check then you will get a delayed prohibition. If there is clear deterioration of any of these tyres, the company will have the vehicle ‘S’ marked immediate prohibition notice.

On the other wheel positions if the manufacturer date code is not readable, a minor fail will be noted at the annual test. This would not stop a pass certificate if the rest is all satisfactory, but they would most definitely be the presumption the tyre would be replaced.

If this issue comes up at an enforcement check, you would be issued an inspection notice. There would also be the presumption that the tyre would be replaced.

Why You Should Implement a Tyre Safety Management System

It is vital and imperative that the fleet operator has an adequate tyre management system. Companies should regularly assesses the risk linked to using old tyres, even if they are legally allowed to be used.

Part of this should be practical steps that include recording the age of the tyres. Also a risk assessment relevant to the distance and speeds, plus the loading conditions of the vehicles needs to be completed.

Tyre Management and Safety and On Classic Vehicles

Do you have non-commercial vehicles over 40 years old? These are exempt from the tyre safety requirements, but tyres of all ages should be checked and assessed by a competent person. Keeping diligent records can save lives.

Having Tyres That Do Not Comply with the Regulations – Consequences

Tyres more than 10 Years Old or without a date code, will attract an ‘S’ marked prohibition notice. The DVSA has stated that they will firstly follow up with the operator. If the operator cannot successfully demonstrate that they have an adequate tyre management system in place, the DVSA will consider referring them to the Traffic Commissioner.

We would highly recommend that when training drivers, time is spent on looking at the tyres. 

tyre safety law

Tyre safety includes looking at the tread depths and ensuring all drivers understand the legal minimum depths of the tread for the vehicle being driven. They should have the correct pressures for the vehicle and how to find the pressures if the driver is not sure.

It is crucial that the fleet driver understands where to find the manufacturer’s date code and how to report defects or irregularities when found.

You should also consider replacing tyres when they are down to 3mm of tread regardless to what vehicle you have in your fleet. This will ensure you have sufficient tread depth and some grip and for the safety of your drivers.


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