Tumbling fuel prices are a giving motorists the chance to save at the pumps, but did you know that another way to cut the cost of filling up with petrol or diesel? All you have to do is make sure your tyres are properly inflated.
The AA says a typical 50-litre tank of unleaded petrol now costs around £2.50 less than it did a year ago, while a 55-litre tank of diesel is around £4 cheaper, however you could be losing out on savings if your tyre pressure is not spot on.
Under-inflated tyres increase fuel consumption because there is more rolling resistance, so extra power is needed to push it over the road – plus they also wear out faster too.
According to research by Michelin tyres, a vehicle uses an extra one mile per gallon for every seven psi it is under-inflated from the correct pressure and ten per cent under-pressurisation reduces tyre life by ten per cent.
You can find out the right tyre pressures for your car in the handbook or on a sticker inside the fuel filler flap or driver’s door. The pressures are quoted for cold tyres and remember you will probably have to increase pressures when you carry heavy loads.
The handbook or stickers generally show two figures, one for ‘normal’ use and a higher figure for full loads. Be sure to adjust the pressures to suit the conditions and aim to check pressures every couple of weeks using a reliable and accurate tyre pressure gauge.