Just 46% of fleet drivers admit they use tyres inflated to the recommended pressure compared to 59% of private motorists, a poll conducted by tyre manufacturer Michelin has shown.

A more concerning takeaway from the report is that a quarter of fleet drivers' tyres are dangerously or very dangerously underinflated, which is almost double the percentage of private drivers' tyres in the same condition (14%).

Michelin tested 1,343 privately-owned cars and 361 fleet vehicles for the purposes of its research, admitting it expected fleet drivers to be more aware of the huge importance tyre pressure has on a vehicles' efficiency, safety and environmental performance.

It is hard to say whether fleet drivers are neglecting the recommendations of their managers or whether such messages are simply not clear enough, says Andy Fern, head of fleet at Michelin.

Fleet drivers must understand that underinflated tyres result in greater fuel consumption, pose risks to the safety of both the vehicle and the driver and that they need to be changed more often, Michelin points out.

Due to the tough economic conditions, people are constantly seeking ways to save money, but it is crazy that so many motorists are wasting their cash on underinflated tyres, especially when there are quick and easy methods to avoid additional expenses, Fern commented.

There are inflating compressors at almost every fuel station, so there is no excuse, he said. Fern encouraged managers of company cars to make tyre pressure a priority and raise awareness of the issue among drivers.

If drivers are reminded about the advantages of keeping their tyres inflated to the correct pressure, they are more likely to include it in their vehicle maintenance checks, Fern concluded.