The cost of driving on under-inflated tyres has risen in the past 18 months in line with the cost of fuel, according to tyre manufacturer, Michelin.
In a statement, the company says tyre pressures have a direct impact on a vehicle’s fuel economy, with under-inflation increasing both fuel usage and carbon emissions, while also posing serious safety risks to motorists and other road users.
Data collected by Michelin during the last 10 years shows that, on average, at least 60 per cent of motorists in the UK drive on under-inflated tyres, and half of those are at dangerously under-inflated levels (more than 8psi ).
Tests carried out have shown that a tyre which is 20 per cent under-inflated will typically return 20 per cent less mileage before needing to be replaced. This equates to loss of 5,000 miles on a tyre which offers a potential mileage of 25,000 miles.
As well as increasing fuel bills, Michelin says under-inflation makes a vehicle’s steering less precise, increases stopping distances, and leads to a higher risk of aquaplaning. It also reduces a tyre’s endurance capabilities, making it more prone to damage and possible rapid deflation.
Commenting, Jonathan Layton, Michelin’s head of fleet, said: “Driving on tyres just a few psi below the manufacturer’s recommended pressures will reduce a vehicle’s fuel efficiency on every single journey. As fuel costs rise, the impact of this under-inflation is pushing running costs higher. Maintaining accurate tyre pressures is a small but simple step to improving fuel efficiency, maximising vehicle safety, and reducing carbon emissions.”
Michelin advises motorists to check tyre pressures, including the spare, at least every month and before any long journeys. Pressures should ideally be checked when the tyres are cold, meaning they have not been used in the past two hours or have covered fewer than two miles at low speed.