Drivers urged not to take soft option

Michelin is urging drivers to improve safety by checking their tyre pressures before setting off on summer holidays after its own research found that only 47% check their tyres regularly.

This means that close to half of UK drivers are failing to keep to the recommended monthly tyre pressure checks.

Further, Michelin’s analysis suggests that UK drivers could lose an estimated £110 a year just in fuel bills due to the reduction in fuel efficiency caused by underinflated tyres.

Research reveals that tyres underinflated by 15psi can reduce a car’s fuel efficiency by around six per cent.

John Howe, managing director for UK and Ireland at Michelin, said: “Checking your car’s tyre pressures might seem like a meaningless task, but underinflation can have several significant effects. As well as multiple safety risks, underinflated tyres affect fuel consumption – and therefore cost. That’s even before the effect of tyre wear and the expense of purchasing new tyres is considered.

“A car normally averaging 40mpg would only manage 37.6mpg with tyres that are underinflated by 15psi. Even a smaller amount of underinflation of a few psi will reduce your MPG every mile that you drive. Annual CO2 emissions would also be increased by 170kg for a driver doing 10,000 miles per year.”

He added: “Underinflation has several knock-on effects. Whilst keeping down costs is important, it is also a question of safety. Michelin designs its tyres to operate best at a specific tyre pressure – outside of that and all tyres, no matter the brand, start to lose their performance credentials. Tyre care should be top of the priorities list as drivers gear up for the summer.”