The figure was obtained by tyre safety organisation TyreSafe via a Freedom of Information request, revealing that millions of drivers are placing themselves and other road users in unnecessary danger by driving on unsafe or illegal tyres.
TyreSafe chairman Stuart Jackson said: ‘It beggars belief that so many motorists can fail their MOT because of unsafe or illegal tyres. Your safety on the road is totally dependent upon the condition of your tyres, so it’s vital that you check these regularly throughout the year, let alone just before you take your MOT.
‘Furthermore, they are also one of the easiest items on your car to check, so there really is no excuse for this amount of tyre-related failures.’
Recent figures released by the Department for Transport also showed that more than 968 road casualties were caused in the UK in 2013 because of an accident involving illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres.
Jackson added: ‘We are entering the most treacherous period of the year when the roads can become very wet and slippery, so it’s essential that your tyres are in the best possible condition. Driving on dangerous or illegal tyres can leave you vulnerable to a number of hazards such as longer stopping distances, loss of grip or an increased risk of aquaplaning, but these can all be minimised with appropriate safety checks.’