Carole Nash
Content Writer
Published: 14th November 2018

Many owners of classic cars are inadvertently leaving themselves at risk of incurring huge penalties as a result of a simple maintenance oversight. A problem that’s mainly caused because classic models are often left sitting idle for long periods of time.

Classic cars are of course well looked after by their owners, they are mostly driven only occasionally, and are often stored away to keep them in pristine condition. However, keeping the classic vehicles in storage can actually still create problems, in the form of degraded tyres.

Raising Awareness For Tyre Maintenance

As part of tyre safety month, which was in October, campaigners aimed to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained tyres. In particular the fact that keeping vehicles in storage for long periods of time, or only driving them for occasional short stints, can often lead to tyres being under-inflated, or the rubber in them becoming hardened and cracked.

When classic car owners decide to take their pride and joy out onto the roads with these potentially damaged or worn tyres, they could end up getting a fine of £2,500 per tyre and 3 penalty points. The hefty fine is because driving with unsafe tyres is ofcourse illegal, and  government figures also showed that defective, or under inflated tyres were a contributory factor in 384 reported accidents just last year.

Because poor tyre maintenance is having such a devastating impact on the UK’s roads, campaigners are working to help people remember that just because a tyre hasn’t been used, doesn’t mean its condition hasn’t deteriorated. The advice to car owners is to always check each tyre’s condition thoroughly no matter if the vehicle is regularly driven or is kept in storage.

Spotting The Warning Signs

New MOT rules that state cars more than 40 years old do not need an annual MOT test, are further adding to the risk that classic car owners will remain in the dark about their potentially dangerous degraded tyres.

The cost of poor tyre maintenance can be high, both financially and personally, so it’s

essential that every driver knows how to spot the warning signs:

  • An uneven tyre tread – could be a symptom of something more serious. If your tyre feels smooth on one side but rough on the other, this could indicate that the tread blocks are worn lower on one side. In which case you may need to get your wheels realigned.
  • Low tyre pressure – is perfectly natural over time, but if they aren’t checked regularly, they become dangerously under-inflated. Leading to quicker wear and tear on the outer edges and more. Always check what the correct tyre pressure should be.
  • Bulging on the tyres – can appear on the sides after hitting a curb or a pothole, and could make the inner part of the tyre’s sidewall weaker. The potential loss of air caused by this, could result in a loss of control or worse.
  • Debris stuck in the tyre tread – can be a common issue. Even brand new tyres can get a puncture from something like a nail getting stuck in the tread. It’s tempting to pull it out, but you should always take the tyre to a qualified professional if this happens.
  • High tyre pressure – can be spotted when the tyre looks more worn in the centre, as this indicates that there’s too much air in it. Resulting in less contact with the road, less traction, faster wear, and weaker braking. Always deflate the tyre to the recommended pressure level if necessary.