Fleet News

Tyre and wheel 'poseurs' force up running costs

FLEETS are paying the price for company car drivers 'posing' and driving fast on the road with a surge in demand for low profile, performance tyres and larger wheels which is driving up vehicle running costs. A new report from Kwik-Fit Fleet has shown that high-performance tyres and low profile variants has soared in the past four years, mainly through fitment as original equipment to new cars.

But their performance on Tarmac is also matched by high prices, which fleet managers must consider when taking on new vehicles, according to the fast-fit firm. Simon Roper, Kwik-Fit Fleet sales and marketing director, said: 'The costs of tyres on a like-for-like basis has declined over the past two years, but fleets' tyre costs will have increased due to these significant changes in original equipment fitment.'

The survey showed that in the last year there was a 45% increase in the Z and W-rated tyres, capable of 150mph and 168mph, while the number of V-rated tyres, which are good for more than 130mph has increased by 16%.Standard tyres in the H, S and T category, which are capable of 130, 112 and 118mph respectively, accounted for the bulk of the remainder of replacements, but the number has fallen, said Roper.

Low-profile tyres, which enhance a car's sporty look, are also on the increase, with Kwik-Fit recording an increase of one third, while 15in wheels are now more popular than 14in and wider tyres, such as 205 and 195 variants. Kwik-Fit Fleet research has shown that the market for high performance and off-road tyres rocketed 30% in the past five years to more than £400 million.

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