Tyre pressure gauges on nearly half the forecourts spot-checked by Auto Express magazine were damaged, out of order, or giving wrong readings.

The checks were conducted on 80 sites with the help of Cheshire-based kit calibration company Caltec ATC. The magazine reported that it found equipment on 39 sites were not up to the task, with some filling tyres to the incorrect pressure – ranging from just one or two pounds per square inch out to 14psi.

The magazine quoted Chris Wakley of campaign group TyreSafe, who said: “Severely under-inflated tyres can compromise safety. Garage and petrol station managers have a crucial role to play in providing an accurate and reliable airline service to the motoring public. These faults are potentially putting their safety at risk.”