Britain’s motorists are paying over £600 million a year in unnecessary fuel bills by driving with underinflated tyres, TyreSafe has said.
A startling 57 per cent of tyres being driven on Britain’s roads are at least four psi below the vehicle manufacturers’ recommendation and 35 per cent are at least eight psi underinflated.
TyeSafe has said motorists who cover over 20,000 miles a year may be adding over £100 to their fuel bill, when compared with official fuel consumption figures, the latest fuel figures, and government data on car usage.
However, all those who drive with tyres inflated below the recommended settings will also be causing their tyres to wear more quickly, meaning they will need to be replaced more frequently, which in turn brings additional expenditure.
If tyres are not kept properly inflated, there is an increased risk of a catastrophic failure, or blowout.
When underinflated, tyres can build up excessive heat over distance, even when driven at legal speed limits, which makes them more vulnerable to sudden failure.
The same is true of tyres which have not been inflated to a pressure appropriate for the load they are carrying.
A vehicle manufacturer typically provides at least two tyre pressure settings: one when a light load is on-board, such as one or two passengers, and another when fully laden.
Stuart Jackson, chairman of TyreSafe, said: “The colossal fuel bill of £600 million plus that we, as Britain’s motorists, unnecessarily spend, may just be the tip of the iceberg, as it’s rare for a driver to return the official fuel consumption figures we have based this calculation on.
“That maybe for any number of reasons, including driving style and the road conditions, so who knows if the true figure might actually be much higher?
“Regardless, monetary considerations should be secondary to safety and TyreSafe urges drivers to make sure they check their tyres’ air pressure, condition and tread depth at least once a month and before long journeys.”