‘Simple practices’ can help slash fuel consumption by 20 percent

Halfords demonstrate how to check and inflate your car tyres

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According to Kwik Fit, tyres account for up to 20 percent of a car’s fuel consumption, so it’s important to choose the right ones and maintain them. Tyres lose air naturally when driving, at a rate of up to two PSI (pound per square inch) every month.

Ensuring the air in the tyres is topped up not only prolongs the life of the tread, but also improves fuel efficiency as there is less rolling resistance on the road.

New research has shown that over two-thirds of British drivers have never checked the pressure of their tyres.

Data suggests that 57 percent of tyres being driven on Britain’s roads are underinflated, showing how potentially costly and dangerous the roads can be.

The research, from RED Driving School in partnership with Kwik Fit and Michelin, highlighted how important it is to inflate car tyres properly.

It is estimated that the UK’s motorists could be wasting between £600million and £1billion in unnecessary fuel bills due to underinflated tyres.

Tyre pressure is always optimally defined by the manufacturer for the combination of vehicle and tyre with the clear objective of keeping the driver and passengers safe.

The correct pressure is generally indicated on a sticker in the driver’s side door, in the fuel filler flap or in the vehicle manual.

Richard Bezzant, marketing director for UK and ROI at Michelin Tyre, urged drivers to keep an eye on their tyres to ensure they are suitable for driving.

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He said: “As tyres naturally lose some air through the rubber, it is important to check your tyre pressure regularly. 

“Without this, you risk losing grip and increasing your braking distances. 

“You can also damage your tyres, shorten their life and increase your fuel consumption. Simple practices can really make the difference.” 

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It is recommended that drivers check their tyre pressure when the vehicle has been driven less than two miles to give them a true picture of the pressure.

The “easiest way” to check and adjust tyre pressure is to do it at home with a portable compressor or at a fuel station with a tyre inflator.

Another way drivers can check on their tyres is to use a 20p coin, which allows them to monitor the tyre tread.

Current UK law states that tyre tread on cars must be at a minimum of 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the tread, around its entire circumference.

If the tyres are even slightly distorted due to incorrect tyre pressure, drivers will be using more fuel to keep their car running smoothly. 

This is because of the added friction while driving that comes from a misshapen tyre.

Seb Goldin, CEO of RED Driving School, told Express.co.uk: “The cost of replacing tyres prematurely far outweighs the effort it takes to check on their wear and tear. 

“We urge all learners and new drivers to get into the habit of regularly checking their tyre pressure once a month, taking into account Michelin’s handy advice.” 

Motorists should also keep an eye on the recommended pressures and how they may not be the same for the front and rear tyres.

The same applies to normalised pressure – which is the standard – and loaded pressure.

Loaded pressure is to be adopted when the vehicle is particularly loaded, such as when going on holiday or moving house.

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