Businesses could make 'substantial' savings by upgrading tyres
British businesses could save £500m a year in fuel costs if they fitted more fuel efficient tyres on their company vehicles, according to new research by the Energy Saving trust (EST).
The research coincides with new EU legislation that comes into force today, compelling tyre manufacturers to label their car and light commercial tyres.
Under the legislation, all tyres on sale in the UK are required to display a label indicating their rating on grip in wet conditions, external noise and fuel efficiency.
According to the EST, current efficiency discrepancies between tyres on the market can reduce vehicle consumption by up to 7.5% over tyre lifetimes.
Michelin Tyremanaging director Eric Le Corre agreed that substantial savings were there to be made.
"There can be a loss of fuel economy of as much as 7.5 per cent between the best and worst rated tyres. This equates to just over £200 in fuel saving over the lifetime of the tyre and at a time when prices at the pumps are at an all-time high, this represents a significant saving in running costs," he said.
There are 3.9 million company vehicles in the UK and the EST has calculated that if the tyres on 50% were changed from the least to the most efficient grade, UK companies could reduce fuel costs by up to £500m per year.
In addition, the EST claims this move would reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by more than 1 million tonnes.
EST senior knowledge manager Tim Anderson said: "We welcome this new legislation and hope that fleet managers and leasing companies benefit from the substantial long-term savings they can make.
"Better tyres may cost more to purchase but this additional expenditure is usually more than offset by the fuel savings over the tyres' lifetime."