Owners of Land Rovers in the UK with more than 9 seats must check their tyres’ age ahead of new rules that come into force on 1 February 2021. Construction and Use Regulations are changing which will primarily affect coaches, heavy goods vehicles and bigger minibuses. But 10- and 12-seater Land Rovers will also fall under the new rules, which will not allow tyres aged over 10 years old to be used on single wheels fitted to a minibus (9-16 seats).
LRO has checked with DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) who have confirmed that 10- and 12-seater Land Rovers do meet the definition of minibus.
The new rules do not apply to vehicles over 40 years old which are used for non-commercial purposes, but 10+ seat long wheelbase (109-inch, One Ten and 110) station wagon models from late Series III through to 2007 – when the rules regarding forward-facing seats were introduced – could fall foul of the rules.
All tyres manufactured from 2000 should have the date stamped into them in the form of a four-digit code. The first two indicate the week of manufacture, the second two, the year.
Why’s it important to replace your tyres based on age, rather than wear? The recommended lifespan of a tyre is just five years from the date of manufacture as the rubber deteriorates, which sometimes shows up as cracking, but can often be invisible. The rubber can harden, so won’t be as compliant and grippy, plus cuts and nicks in the rubber can allow water to get into the steel within the carcass which can rust and fail.
It’s the only part of your Land Rover that is in contact with the road (at least it should be…) so they need to be in tip-top condition.
We’ve advice for getting more out of your tyres in our January 2021 issue – buy a copy here.