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How can I tell the age of my tyres using the DOT code?


The age of your tyres can be a key indicator of current or future problems. However, most drivers are unaware of how easy it is to find out how old their tyres are. So to help, we have written a handy guide on the importance of knowing your tyres’ DOT codes and how they can keep you safe on the road.

Do tyres have an expiration date?

To be fit for sale, a tyre must be less than five years old, and while the tyres on your vehicle may exceed this and there are currently no tyre age laws on non-commercial vehicles, it is recommended that after this date you keep a close eye on their condition, especially with tyres older than seven years.

During an initial observation, your tyres may appear safe, but over time the rubber may become brittle, especially when fitted to vehicles stored outside, as they will be more affected by environmental conditions and UV damage from direct sunlight.

For those who swap tyres seasonally, the ageing process may be sped up if they are poorly stored, so before putting on your winter or summer tyres, check thoroughly for any signs of deterioration. This also extends to cars with a spare tyre, which might have been stored in your boot since the manufacture of the car.

So how do I know how old my tyres are?

Determining the age of your tyres is simple, look for the DOT code on the sidewall, keeping in mind that the code will only be present on one side of the tyre. If you are unable to locate it, you will have to check the other side of the tyre.

How can I read a DOT Code?

DOT code, which stands for the Department of Transportation, a name provided by the US Department of the same name, is a sequence of alphanumeric characters which helps you determine your tyre manufacture, size, personal identifier and lastly, the year and month of production.

Look for the word DOT, which precedes a series of characters, ending with 4 digits within a rectangle border, as shown in the image above. The week made, annotated as ‘A’, and the year made, annotated as ‘B’, which in this example is 1524, shows a tyre manufactured between April 15th and April 21st 2024. If you are still uncertain, you can also use an online DOT code converter, which will do the conversion for you.

For tyres manufactured before the year 2000, they will have a slightly different coding system with 3 digits instead, it is recommended due to their age that these tyres should be replaced as soon as possible as they may pose a significant safety risk.

Need more information about your tyres? Check out our other explainers, or if you have any questions, submit a question through our contact form, the Landsail team is always available to help.

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