Tyres and passing the ITV: Upsticks top tips on all things tyres


Tyres are one of the most scrutinized aspects of the ITV inspection. Here are Upsticks top tips on what the technicians are looking for and how to avoid a fail.

General condition of tyres AND rims, visual check
The first thing on the list is a visual check of the tyres and the rims. A dented or chipped rim or any crack or wear on the tyre (especially if the inner wires show) is a fail. If there are any visible signs of heat damage on the tyre (not unusual in Spain!) this is also a fail or at the very least, an advisory. 

Check Tread Depth
The tread depth comes next, and this must always be greater than 1.6 mm. While you can use regrooved tyres, they must carry the symbol Ω.

Check tyres and rims meet manufacturer’s specification
A non-approved tyre or rim and/or one that doesn’t meet the ficha tecnica is an instant fail. The tyre specifications originate from the manufacturer’s Certificate of Conformity, and Spanish ITV technicians are extremely strict about enforcing an exact match. This is a common fail for vehicles being registered for the first time from countries which aren’t quite as strict on these specifications. 

Each tyre must have an EU conformity number
Buyer beware – some tyres will not have this EU number, so if you are buying tyres online for example, and not from a recognised supplier, make sure they are legal for the EU. 

Same tyres on same axle
This is one of the most common reasons for a non-Spanish vehicle to fail this part of the ITV.  In Spain the tyres on each axle must be the same age, make, model, size and tread. You can have different tyres front to back, but those on the same axle must match exactly.

Check that your tyre pressures are inline with handbook
Tyre pressure is always worth checking, especially as Spain has some very intense weather which can affect tyre pressure during the course of the year. If the car is equipped with a tyre pressure monitoring system, it should warn you if there is a problem. 

Good to know

Buying tyres in Spain – the online shopping revolution has had a beneficial effect for consumers, with websites like muchonuematico and nuematicos.es offering great value, plus the option to have the tyres delivered to a local garage and discounts on fitting them too. 

Don’t buy cheap dust caps – although they may look nice, the heat can cause the cheap metal to bond to the tyre valves, which is not ideal when you need to inflate them!

The information in this article was correct on the date published.
Article last reviewed/updated 12.08.2022

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