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Mike Waters' blog: 12 December 2011: Value your vehicle

Date: 12 December 2011

Mike Waters is senior insight & consultancy manager at Arval, the leading vehicle leasing and fleet management company.

When it comes to maintaining your vehicle, there are some more technical areas that the majority of us avoid and leave to the experts. However, there are other areas like oil, water and tyres that are simple to manage leaving drivers with no excuse for not keeping on top of them.

Focusing on one in particular, it is essential that drivers keep a close eye on their tyres, especially at this time of year with the threat of bad weather. Checking the condition, tread and pressure on a regular basis takes only a few minutes, more often than not its free, and the benefits can be significant.

However, research shows that large numbers of drivers continue to neglect their tyres. Tyre company Michelin say that 39% of motorists drive on dangerous or very dangerously under-inflated tyres, and another 5% of cars were found to have punctured tyres.

Michelin reckon that under-inflated tyres are costing UK motorists £337 million a year in wasted fuel, which is the equivalent of pumping an extra 600,000 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere - certainly food for thought.

So ignoring your tyres has three major impacts. It increases your costs because under inflated tyres use more fuel. Using more fuel means that you are increasing the amount of CO2 that you emit. Neglected tyres also put you and other road users at risk, increasing the chances of skidding, failing to stop or even a tyre blow out.

In this instance, the reality is that a small investment of time is well worth it from a financial, environmental and safety point of view. Properly maintained vehicles run more efficiently for longer so its really important to look after them; and if you can do it yourself, all the better.