Tyre Safety Neglect Costs Uk Drivers Millions Annually

Tyre Safety Neglect Costs UK Drivers Millions Annually

UK Drivers Forfeit £112 Million Annually Due to Under-Inflated Tyres A recent study by The Motor Ombudsman, the official Ombudsman for the automotive sector, has uncovered a significant issue among UK drivers: under-inflated tyres. This oversight is leading to an estimated annual waste of at least £112 million in tyre costs. The study highlights that…

Tyre Safety Neglect Costs Uk Drivers Millions Annually

UK Drivers Forfeit £112 Million Annually Due to Under-Inflated Tyres

A recent study by The Motor Ombudsman, the official Ombudsman for the automotive sector, has uncovered a significant issue among UK drivers: under-inflated tyres. This oversight is leading to an estimated annual waste of at least £112 million in tyre costs. The study highlights that a staggering 57% of cars on UK roads have tyre pressures that are 10% below the levels recommended by manufacturers, resulting in accelerated wear and reduced tyre lifespan.

The British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (BTMA) and TyreSafe charity report that this translates to around 19 million cars—approximately 75 million tyres—operating with suboptimal inflation levels. With an average cost of £85 for a 16-inch tyre, one of the most common sizes, the premature wear leads to an avoidable expenditure of £112 million each year, equating to the loss of 1.3 million tyres annually.

The study also surveyed 1,000 UK car drivers, revealing that over a third (37%) lack confidence in topping up their tyre air pressure, while more than half (51%) are hesitant to measure tyre tread depth to ensure it exceeds the legal limit of 1.6mm.

These findings are part of The Motor Ombudsman’s ‘Make Time for Tyres’ campaign, which aims to emphasize the importance of regular tyre checks for safety and legality, particularly before the summer holiday season. Supported by TyreSafe and tyre safety campaigner Sophie Lyden, the initiative urges drivers to inspect their tyres’ tread depth, pressure, and overall condition regularly and to seek professional assistance from Motor Ombudsman-accredited businesses for maintenance and repairs.

Bill Fennell, Chief Ombudsman and Managing Director of The Motor Ombudsman, stated, “Under-inflated tyres pose significant risks and costs. Our study and the ‘Make Time for Tyres’ campaign aim to highlight the critical role of tyre maintenance in ensuring driver safety and maximizing tyre longevity, especially amidst current financial pressures on motorists.”

Stuart Lovatt, Chair of TyreSafe, added, “Under-inflation affects both tyre and vehicle performance and can be costly for drivers. We urge motorists to adhere to the pressure levels recommended by vehicle manufacturers, which are calculated to ensure safety on the road.”

Supporting the initiative, Sophie Lyden, tyre safety campaigner and Depot Manager at Westgate Tyres, emphasized the importance of regular tyre checks. “Drivers should inspect their tyres at least once a month, regardless of journey length, to ensure they are safe and legal. This includes checking tread depth, pressure, and overall condition, including the spare tyre if available.”

Motorists are encouraged to visit Motor Ombudsman-accredited businesses for guidance and to perform these crucial checks, which only take a few minutes but can prevent costly repairs and ensure safety for all road users.

For more information and tips on tyre maintenance, visit The Motor Ombudsman’s tyre resource page.


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