Fleet managers and vehicle procurement executives that run non-premium tyres should consider whether they are getting ‘best value’, according to Peter Eldridge, director of accident management support provider Opus Autoroute.
“Cost concerns often drive tyre procurement decisions made in the fleet market, without consideration for the on-road performance and longevity of the selected tyres – and the importance of selecting the right fitments,” said Eldridge. “It’s bizarre; companies may spend more than £30,000 on a car, but the bit that connects them with the road, the tyres – the key aspect to consider for safety, fuel efficiency and mileage performance – can sometimes be overlooked.”
The clear differences between low cost and best value tyres should become a key consideration for fleet management executives, adds Eldridge, who made the comments after first-hand experience of swapping tyres on a newly purchased personal vehicle from a budget competitor to Michelin Latitude Sport 3 tyres – with “transformative” results.
Referring to swapping his personal SUV on to Michelin tyres, Eldridge said: “I bought a pre-owned Honda CR-V, which came on budget tyres. I was getting horrendous wheel judder at speed, but five wheel balances and one new set of drive shaft joints later, things were no better. That’s when it was suggested to me that the budget tyres were the likely cause, so I went out and bought four new Michelins.
“Having been in the fleet industry for over 40 years, I didn’t think I could be surprised any more – but my goodness, the car was completely transformed. The vibration has completely gone, it’s quieter, it handles better – especially in wet weather – and overall the car is a completely different driving experience. In future, I wouldn’t consider anything but premium tyres again, as the value they deliver is clear.”
Andy Fern, Michelin’s head of fleet, said: “Choosing to invest in quality, premium brand tyres such as Michelin can pay dividends over time for both private drivers and fleets in terms of tyre life, on-road responsiveness, safety and mileage performance.
“Also, the durability offered by premium tyres means fewer wheel interventions, cutting costs for fleet managers.
“Premium tyre manufacturers such as Michelin spend a significant amount of money on R&D and develop materials and technologies to the highest level.
“Coupled with numerous approvals from vehicle manufacturers, this leads to tyres that are better suited to the high demands of fleet managers and drivers alike.”