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Epyx: Fleet tyre spend set to rocket in 2013

Date: 23 January 2013   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

SMR software specialist Epyx has warned of a rising tide in tyre costs for business car operators in 2013.

According to the company's data, tyre spend now accounts for an average of 45% of a fleet's total SMR Budget, a cost that has increased by half over the past 10 years and is set to continue on the up.

The popularity of large wheels and low-profile tyres as factory-fit items, hikes in the cost of producing rubber and the fitment of winter tyres are said to be behind the increase.

Director of tyre programmes at Epyx, Mike Wise, told BusinessCar: "While longer service intervals and a much reduced need for regular servicing mean that the non-tyre element of the SMR spend has been falling for some time, tyre spending has been heading in the opposite direction as a result of proliferation of sizes and the introduction of larger wheels and low-profile fitment.

"Much of this has been prompted by the rising unit cost of tyres. Generally, tyre prices are rising due to higher raw material and manufacturing costs, but there are other factors too. The size and performance of common fleet tyres is increasing all the time.

"It is now common to find 18- or 19-inch wheels or even 20-inch on the most mainstream models when just a couple of years ago 16-inch was the norm."

He continued: "Additionally, there are increasing tyre choices. There are signs that winter tyres may finally be gaining ground among some fleets in the UK whose drivers regularly tackle tough conditions while other businesses are showing an interest in low rolling-resistance tyres.

"These initiatives are worthwhile but have a price tag attached."

Wise said businesses should implement "watertight" tyre policies to quash the expense as much as possible.

"This is an element of expenditure that is larger than any other part of the SMR budget but it can be successfully managed.

"Taking control means looking at everything from driving styles, to tyre choices to the buying terms that you are able to negotiate."

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