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Tyres - Facts and Figures in the UK today.

We all need our tyres to be safe on the road. Those four round items are what connects the road surface to our vehicle. They play a vital role in providing us with a secure journey.

As we offer Tyre Insurance at Total Loss Gap we thought it would be a good idea to look at just how important tyres are by way of some facts and figures.

1 . There are over 40 million tyres going on to cars in the UK each year.

Three quarters of these are replacement tyres with the other quarter going on new vehicles for the first time.

Taking all vehicles into account there are over 100,000 tyres being fitted to vehicle each and every day in the UK.

In addition to this around 5 million part worn tyres are fitted to vehicles each year in the UK. These part worn tyres come from salvage vehicles or are imported from other countries. Serious safety concerns have been raised over part worn tyres, with some Trading Standards investigations finding over 50% of part worn tyres with serious defects.

2. Retail Tyre sales markettyre facts and figures UK

The retail sales market in the UK is split into three segments of tyres, Premium, Mid-range and Value.

Nearly 50% of all retail tyre sales fall in the Premium segment, around 30% into the mid range and approximately 20% into the Value category.

3. Winter tyres

When the temperature gets below 7 degrees Celsius, Winter tyres are far better for grip on snow as well as in the wet. Winter tyres have a special type of rubber that prevents them going rigid in the cold, as well as a more suitable tread pattern for the cold conditions.

4. The legal tread depth limit

The minimum tread depth legally permitted on your tyre is 1.6mm across the central 3/4's of your tyre. It has been suggested by some experts that when the tread depth drops below 3mm then the optimum safety conditions are lost.

5. Tyre labelling

Since 2012 it has been law that tyres must have labels displaying the relative attributes of the tyre in the following areas:

  • Fuel efficiency - rated A-G, with A being the most fuel efficient
  • Wet braking efficiency - rated A-G, with A being the shortest braking distance in the wet
  • Noise emission - measured in decibels and shown in a relative 3 bar illustration. The more bars filled in the noisier the tyre

6. Tyre sizes

Tyre sizes are shown on the wall of the tyre. They consist of three numbers, separated by slashes.Tyre Insurance quote

An example would be 225/50/19

The first number represents the width, in mm, from inner sidewall to outer sidewall.

The second number represents the height of the tyre wall as a percentage of the width. In this case 50% of 225mm.

The third number represents the diameter of the wheel that would fit the tyre, in inches.

7. Tyre speed rating

Alongside, or at the end to be precise, of the tyre size label on the sidewall of your tyre, you will find a single letter. This letter indicates the 'speed rating' of your tyre. The speed rating is the speed that your tyre is capable of maintaining, and it is therefore important that it matches the capability of your car.

The speed ratings are as follows:

Tyre Speed Ratings UK
Speed Rating miles/hour Speed Rating miles/hour
N 87 U 124
P 93 H 130
Q 99 V 149
R 106 Z 150+
S 112 W 168
T 118 Y 186

8. Run Flat Tyres

Run Flat Tyres (otherwise known as self supporting tyres) are specially designed to have a reinforced sidewall that allows the tyre to be driven on, for a short period, even when a puncture has occurred.

If a conventional tyre suffered a puncture, the loss of air pressure from the tyre would prevent it from being driven on. The run flat tyre continues to retain its integrity due to the reinforced sidewalls for a short period. It is not suggested that a run flat should be driven at more than 30 mph for a few miles in such a state, but enough to get you home or to the nearest garage.

So there you have it, some facts about the tyres you may have fitted to your car. Some reasons perhaps also to consider tyre insurance to protect against the unforeseen costs of replacing, or repairing your tyres following accidental or malicious damage.