UK motorists could be losing over GBP170 million of fuel every year by neglecting to check their tyre pressures, a new survey by Michelin reveals.

Michelin's research found 55 per cent of car and van tyres on UK roads to be under-inflated by an average of 10 per cent. This - the equivalent of a mere three PSI in a tyre that should be inflated to 30 PSI - decreases the fuel efficiency of the vehicle by one per cent. Thirty per cent under-inflation can increase fuel consumption by four per cent, which is equal to 3.4p in every litre. It also more than halves tyre life.

Michelin spokesman Ian Hughes said: "Regular tyre checks can help save on fuel costs and may go some way towards making the current high fuel prices a little easier to bear. Tyre under-inflation not only increases fuel consumption but is also extremely dangerous. Few people realise that looking after tyres saves money and makes their car a much safer place for them and their families."

Michelin also advises that tread depths are checked regularly and that fuel-efficient tyres, such as Michelin Energy, are fitted. In
independent tests the AA confirmed Michelin's claim that Energy tyres
contribute a five per cent saving in fuel costs.

If all drivers switched to Energy tyres, a staggering GBP850 million of fuel could be saved each year.