Drivers urged to tread carefully with wheel safety

Over a third of UK drivers (40%) cannot confidently carry out a tyre tread check according to new research by automotive marketplace eBay.

More than half (53%) of 18-34-year-olds don’t know how to check that their tyre tread is within the legal limit.

Older generations also lack confidence with this straightforward but important safety check, with more than a third of 35-54-year-olds revealing the same knowledge gap.

Cars, vans and light commercial vehicles (LCVs) legally require a minimum depth of 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tyre and around the entire circumference, although most vehicle manufacturers suggest replacing the tyres when they reach 3mm of tread.

eBay research also revealed that more than half (56%) of UK drivers can’t jump-start a car, with almost 70% of women not confident of the process. More than half (66%) of drivers would also struggle to change a headlight or rear bulb.

More simple maintenance tasks seemed to be a problem for a large number of drivers with exactly half feeling they would be unable to fit a new wiper blade to their car while 34% weren’t at ease with checking the oil level which is a vital task, particularly on older vehicles which don’t feature digital alerts when it is running low.

Dr Tony Tong, head of Automotive at eBay UK said: “Carrying out basic car checks and repairs can seem daunting but can often be simple and more cost-effective than going to a garage. Boosting your knowledge when it comes to car checks will not only save you time, but can also improve safety, especially before long journeys or during colder months. eBay’s marketplace makes it easy to find the part for your vehicle, offering convenience and peace of mind.”