Most drivers are unaware of how much money they could save by choosing the most fuel-efficient tyres, according to a new survey which found that 32% of drivers didn’t know that there were tyres available that could reduce their car’s fuel consumption.
The survey was carried out for LANXESS, the world’s largest producer of synthetic rubbers, ahead of the launch of the EU tyre labelling scheme on the 1st November 2012.
To help motorists calculate the benefits of fuel-saving tyres, LANXESS has launched an app allowing drivers to calculate exactly how much money, fuel and carbon different tyres can save them based on the car they drive, their annual mileage, and their driving style.
The app shows that changing tyres could save around £200 per year in petrol costs and 350kg of carbon emissions if your annual mileage is 10,000 miles, your car averages 35 mpg and the price of fuel is approximately £1.30 per litre — all of which are pretty typical assumptions for many motorists. (You can download the app here.)
Ignorance and disbelief
In its survey, LANXESS found that almost a third (32%) of those questioned didn’t know that tyres were available that could reduce their car’s fuel consumption.
Only 20% said that fuel consumption was one of the most important factors to them when buying a tyre, with 54% preferring to focus on price — despite the fact that fuel efficient tyres can save you much more in fuel costs than the extra cost of buying them.
It wasn’t all bad news, however — 44% of motorists questioned already believed that between 0% and 10% of their car’s fuel consumption was influenced by tyres.
Tyre Label Law
The survey comes ahead of the introduction of compulsory tyre labelling, a new EU law requiring all tyres to be labelled with washing machine-style performance labels, like the one pictured on the right.
The survey found that 72% of motorists have not heard of the new tyre labels, despite the fact they will be in use in less than two months time, from the 1st November 2012.
The labels provide information on three key areas of performance:
- Fuel efficiency
- Wet grip
These three ratings will not give you the whole story about a tyre but they will help provide an idea of its strengths and weakness. Good road grip in wet conditions is important given the UK’s climate and fuel efficiency ratings could begin to educate drivers about the amount of fuel they can save by using fuel-saving tyres:
According to the SMMT, a top-ranked A-grade tyre could out-perform the lowest-ranked G-grade tyre by 30% for safety and 7.5% for fuel efficiency. This translates to a vehicle stopping three to four car lengths shorter from 50mph and a fuel cost saving of around £100 every year for the average motorist.
Tyre labelling is another jolly EU law and as such is probably here to stay — so we may as well get some benefit out of it by cutting our fuel bills and buying better tyres.
The free way to save fuel
Of course, there is one way of saving fuel that costs nothing except five minutes every couple of weeks or so:
- Keep your tyres correctly inflated!
Underinflated tyres can used up to 5% more fuel, provide less grip and are more likely to puncture. They also wear out much faster, due to the uneven wear caused by low pressures. Yet according to the LANXESS survey, around 25% of motorists only check their tyre pressures once a year or less.
Buying fuel-saving tyres is a good idea — but you can start saving fuel immediately and make your existing tyres last longer, simply by keeping them correctly inflated.
To learn more, visit LANXESS’ UK website, www.green-tyres.org.uk.