Nine in ten British drivers don’t change their tyres over in winter and summer

YouGov
January 12, 2021, 7:31 PM UTC

In YouGov Profiles, we asked British car owners if they typically change over the tyres on their vehicle in the winter and summer. The data shows that nearly nine in ten (88%) of the sample did not see the need to switch out their tyres, with only 4% making seasonal changes to their tyres.

Those who do swap out their tyres are more likely to be parents: 47% are responsible for at least one child under the age of 18 compared to a quarter (25%) of car owners overall. Child safety may therefore inform their decisions. They are also more likely to live in Scotland: 17% live north of the border (compared to 8% of Brits nationally). With greater levels of rain, ice and snow than in the rest of the UK, Scottish drivers may have a greater need for appropriate tyres to match these tougher conditions.

More than half of seasonal tyre switchers and car owners in general are most likely to say that “overall price” is a factor when buying new tyres – but switchers are less likely to be motivated by money. Where nearly two-thirds of car owners (64%) say overall cost is a factor, this falls to just half (51%) of tyre switchers. Switchers are more likely to prioritise durability (33% vs. 24% of car owners), tread life (33% vs. 23% of car owners), and fuel efficiency (32% vs. 21% of car owners). They’re also twice as likely to prioritise size (31% vs. 16% of car owners) and traction (30% vs. 17% of car owners).

Those who switch tyres regularly are more likely to say they don’t need a mechanic (33% vs. 10%), suggesting that this demographic is more likely to be enthusiastic about automotives. This assumption gains further traction given that 61% of this group are more likely to favour a car with a powerful engine, compared to just 41% of those who own at least one car.

Nearly half (48%) of tyre-switchers own or jointly own diesel cars, compared to 34% of car owners nationwide. Known for faster tyre wear due to heavier engines, diesel car owners may be more conscious of tyre care, which may also explain their greater inclination to make seasonal tyre changes.

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