Staycations are on the rise, with 59 million stays in the UK in 2017, up almost 6% on 2016 according to figures from VisitBritain quoted in the Sykes Staycation Index, but that means rather than flying to a destination, most of us will drive.
Loading your car up with everything from suitcases, tents, and sports equipment is going to put a lot of pressure on the tyres, and to be sure you are going to arrive safely at your destination, you need to invest some time in checking they are in good shape for the journey.
The lower limit for tyre tread depth is 1.6mm around three quarters of the central part of the tyre on the entire circumference, in the UK and Europe. Quite aside from the possibility of receiving a £2,500 fine per tyre and three penalty points on your licence – a total of £10,000 and an instant driving ban if all four tyres are below the legal limit – you would be putting you and your family at greater risk.
When your tyres reach 1.6mm of tread, the stopping distance on asphalt increases compared to a new tyre by 36.8% according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. That could easily make the difference between a crash and a near miss.
We have a guide on how you can check your tread here
Under inflated tyres will increase your fuel consumption, reduce your vehicle handling and increase the likelihood of a severe blowout. So, you need to get them right.
In most cases, the front tyres will have a higher pressure than the rear tyres as they have to support the weight of the vehicle’s engine. But this is not always the case, so you should check the details for your ride.
If you have a heavier than normal load when you are heading on your UK holiday, you will need to increase the tyre pressures slightly to accommodate the additional weight in the vehicle. The correct increase in tyre pressure should be outlined in your car’s handbook, but again if you cannot find this then a search online should give you the correct information.
You wouldn’t expect an airline pilot for a trip abroad to fly without the relevant checks, so make sure your tyres are in good shape for your travels.