This simple driving mistake will see Britons waste £1.5m on fuel this bank holiday, experts warn

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Experts urge drivers to carry out easy check to save fuel and money as millions plan holiday getaways

Drivers embarking on bank holiday getaways will waste more than 1 million litres of fuel due to a simple oversight, according to motoring experts.

Britons are expected to make more than 30 million leisure journeys over the May Day and Coronation weekends but are set to waste a collection £1.5m simply because their car’s tyres aren’t properly inflated. 

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A new survey of drivers has found that one in 10 hasn’t checked their tyre pressures in more than four months and among those 3% never check their pressures. Even if they’re not being driven on, tyres lose around one to two PSI per month, and this can rise in warmer weather, meaning millions could be driving around with underinflated tyres.

Due to the increased friction caused by underinflated tyres they can increase fuel consumption by around three per cent. Based on the average fuel consumption and research into Briton’s travel plans, experts from motoring retailer Halfords predict that underinflated tyres could see drivers use up to 1,031,981 litres more fuel than necessary. At today’s pump prices that equates to more than £1.5m of needless spending. 

Andy Turbefield, head of quality at Halfords commented: “Due to the cost of living crisis, everyone is feeling the pinch – and the cost of all the bank holidays can add up. But one way motorists can save themselves a bit of cash is to ensure they keep their tyres properly inflated. What’s more, underinflated tyres get worn down quicker – meaning they’ll need replacing sooner, and that is a more significant cost.”

(Image: NationalWorld/Adobe Stock)(Image: NationalWorld/Adobe Stock)
(Image: NationalWorld/Adobe Stock) | (IMage: NationalWorld/Adobe Stock)

As well as unnecessary expense, separate research suggests drivers’ tyre ignorance is putting their safety at risk. Just 24% think tyres are as important a safety feature as airbags, despite them being a car’s only point of contact with the road  

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The study by tyre maker Bridgestone into driver’s attitudes also found that just 17% check their tyre pressures once a fortnight - the recommended period - and only 12% check their tyre treads with the same frequency.

Despite their importance, MOT test data shows that in the last five years more than five million cars have failed their MOT due to worn or damaged tyres. 

Bridgestone’s north region vice president Andrea Manenti said: “Our research, coupled with the number of avoidable fatalities on our roads due to defective tyres, tells us that lives continue to be put at risk through a lack of tyre knowledge.

“The survey indicated there seems to be a lack of understanding of the critical role that tyres play on a car. For example, the research also revealed that only 46% of motorists would call out a friend if they knew they were driving on illegal tyres, when the very act of doing this could be the difference between life and death.

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