Bank of England deputy governor Minouche Shafik has suggested in a speech to the Institute of Directors that the UK tire industry is affected by recession-based consumer behavior.
Minouche cited shifting patterns in consumers’ decisions on when to change their worn car tires as a prime example of the way the economic downturn has affected purchasing choices.
The trend was identified through data compiled by Micheldever Tyre Services that shows that since 2008 the number of tires that are below the legal limit at the point of replacement has grown from 15.3% to 56.4%.
Micheldever’s managing director, Duncan Wilkes (pictured), said, “Bad habits that initially evolved during the financial crisis have now become ingrained and the drivers who have formed them are now negatively influencing the next generation of motorists. As a result more drivers are allowing the tread on their tires to fall below the legal minimum of 1.6mm before replacing them.
“While there are advantages to consumers in becoming much more spending savvy, it is very worrying to see it having manifested itself in a purchasing decision that is paramount to road safety.
“Although people will ask about safety features on their cars and review NCAP ratings, they should remember that there are only four parts of a vehicle that actually touch the road.
“As tires wear, their performance decreases significantly, so the stopping distances of a car with illegal tires against a vehicle with full tread are poles apart. To see over half the cars coming into our garage having either illegal or borderline tires is very worrying.”
December 17, 2015