Company cars fitted with 18 inch-plus tyres increase by a third in three years

The percentage of company cars being fitted with 18 inch-plus tyres has increased by a third in three years, our new data shows.

In the first quarter of 2021, 42% of cars fitted with tyres through TyreServe were 18 inches or over. This increased to 47% in for the same period in 2022, 52% in 2023 and 56% in 2024.

Tim Meadows, Chief Commercial Officer, said: “What the data shows is that there’s been a rapid increase in company car tyre sizes over a relatively short period of time, and the trend line suggests that is probably likely to continue.

“Bigger tyres are almost always fitted for cosmetic purposes, filling the wheel arch of the car. Some would argue that they offer marginally improved handling but that’s not really applicable when it comes to the kinds of models and motoring seen on most fleets.

“However, there are certainly downsides. They are more expensive and more prone to damage, which adds up to additional bills for fleets. That’s quite a price to pay for something that just looks a little better.”

Our data also shows that bigger tyres are more likely to be fitted to electric and hybrid cars. In Q1 of 2024, 74% of electric cars were fitted with 18 inch-plus tyres compared to 63% of hybrids and 52% of petrol and diesel vehicles.

Tim said: “The picture here is complicated by the fact that while the model mix is changing, electric car sales still tend to skew towards larger, prestige vehicles that are fitted with larger tyres as a matter of course. However, that doesn’t change the core finding that many more electric and hybrid models are fitted with 18 inch-plus tyres within the current fleet parc. The tyres for those vehicles will be again be costing fleets more money.”

TyreServe is an additional module for epyx’s 1link Service Network, allowing fleet users of the platform to buy tyres from nearly 3,400 registered franchise or independent dealers. Launched in 2015, TyreServe has just completed its 250,000th tyre fitting.

Tim said: “TyreServe exists as a complementary service to the mainstream fleet tyre sector, enabling dealers to offer tyre fitments at competitive prices at times when it is more convenient to the driver, such as the vehicle already being in for routine maintenance or where the usual tyre fitment partner does not have stock. It’s a niche that has been successful over the years, providing convenience for fleets and revenue opportunities for dealers.”

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