Story: DAVID WILKINS
The next time one of your firm’s company cars or vans needs new tyres, don’t just go for the cheapest – it may be a false economy.
That’s the message from the Energy Saving Trust, which says that businesses in the UK could save £500 million a year at the pump if they fitted more fuel-efficient tyres to their company vehicles. (The EST is an independent charity with no affiliation to the tyre industry.)
The EST’s calculation is based on half of the 3.9 million company vehicles in the UK – that’s 2.4 million cars and 1.5 million vans – switching from the least efficient tyres to the best, a move that could improve fuel consumption on the vehicles concerned by 7.5 per cent – representing a staggering 1 million tonnes in CO2 emissions.
But which tyres are the most fuel-efficient? A new system of EU-mandated tyre labelling came into force on 1 November will help you decide. (Read more about the new tyre labelling regs.)
The new labels look like the energy-efficiency rating stickers already seen on washing machines and fridges and will show how well a particular tyre performs in terms of fuel efficiency, wet weather grip and tyre noise.
Another important dimension of tyre performance, durability, is not covered as it is too difficult to measure on a comparable basis. It can make a big difference to the cost of running small fleet. Check out our business car manager blog to read about some of our experiences.