AND AUTOCARE’S GUIDE
TO EU TYRE LABELLING
TYRE LABELS WILL BE COMPULSORY FROM 1ST NOVEMBER 2012
FOLLOWING EU LEGISLATION. WE’RE USED TO SEEING LABELS
ON ITEMS LIKE FOOD PACKAGING AND WHITE GOODS
LIKE WASHING MACHINES. BUT THIS IS THE FIRST TIME LABELS WILL
BECOME COMPULSORY FOR EU TYRE SALES,
SO WHAT’S THE REASON FOR THIS?
Tyre labels are being introduced to give you, the buyer, comparable information so you can make
a decision about what type of tyre you buy. The labels will be presented in a standard format for
all makes of tyre, so no matter whether you’re looking at a Pirelli, Avon or a Tigar tyre – you will
be able to compare their vital statistics to see what you’re getting.
The tyre label will have information on three key areas: fuel efficiency, wet grip and external noise.
Tyres are responsible for approximately 20% of a vehicle’s fuel consumption, mainly due to their rolling resistance. Rolling resistance, also known as ‘rolling friction’ and ‘rolling drag’, is the resistance between the tyre and the road surface, and can be affected by the material the tyre is made from. Tyre manufacturers carry out vast amounts of research into their production materials, with one of their aims being to reduce rolling resistance.
Reducing rolling resistance can help improve fuel efficiency. So if you opt for tyres classed as ‘A’ instead of ‘F’ – this could help save you 80 litres of fuel per year which could add up to more than £100 of savings.
This also benefits the environment, as CO2 emissions are reduced considerably. (Based on 10,000 miles per year with a petrol engine, at £1.30 per litre).
Tyres play a crucial role in a vehicle’s stopping distance – i.e. the distance from when you hit the brakes until your car comes to a halt. It takes longer to stop in wet conditions compared to dry due to the amount of water held on the tyres and lying on the road surface. The patterns cut into a tyre’s surface (tread) are designed to aid water dispersal, and this is another key research area for tyre manufacturers. So now you will be able to compare how efficiently a tyre will perform in wet braking.
For example, the difference in the wet braking distance between a car fitted with tyres classed as ‘A’ compared to ‘F’ is over 10 metres i.e. the equivalent to 2 car lengths! When braking at speed, clearly this make a big difference to your road safety.
The noise your tyre makes might not seem a crucial factor when buying a tyre – but if you spend a lot of your day driving on motorways, then you may prefer to invest in something that contributes to your driving comfort. Until now, it’s not been possible to know the noise level of a tyre until you actually fit it and drive, but noise level will now be measured on tyre labels so you can make an informed choice about your purchase.
Noise is measured in decibels (dB), and the human ear can register the difference between 3 decibel ratings.
Tyre labels will have three different noise bands – the more waves shown on the symbol, the noisier the tyre is. One wave indicates the best performance, which means that the noise level of the tyre is at least 3 dB below the future legal limit. Three black waves is the weakest performance and represents a noise level in between the current maximum limit and the new, lower limit that will be introduced in Regulation 661, coming into force between 2012 and 2016.
HOW TO READ THE LABEL
See below for an example of the tyre label and a short explanation on what each of the three categories on the label actually mean.
Tyre Labels Explained
1 FUEL EFFICIENCY/ ROLLING RESISTANCE
Fuel efficiency is important to reduce both CO2 emissions and the cost of driving. Each tyre can be categorised for its fuel efficiency.
Tyres are rated between A – G; A being the most fuel efficient, G bring the least fuel efficient.
The difference between each category means a reduction or increase in fuel consumption of 3-4%.
Please note: category D is not used.
2 WET GRIP/BRAKING PERFORMANCE
Wet grip is a critical safety feature, relating to how quickly a tyre can stop on wet roads.
Tyres are rated A – G; A being the shortest braking distances in the wet, G being the longest braking distance in the wet.
The difference in each category can mean an extra one to two car lengths (3-6 metres) on the stopping distance.
Please note: categories D and G are not used.
3 NOISE EMISSION/ EXTERIOR NOISE
This relates to the external noise made by the tyre and is measured in dB (decibels). There are three ratings for noise as indicated by sound waves on the diagram. The more black waves, the louder the tyre.
HOW WILL THIS AFFECT ME WHEN I’M BUYING TYRES?
When you buy tyres from National Tyres and Autocare, one of our trained staff is always on hand to help you make the best choice of tyre for your driving needs. Tyre labelling will provide you with back-up, comparative information so you can compare brands for yourself. National Tyres and Autocare will of course continue to offer you trusted advice when you are buying a tyre.
From November 2012, the tyre label must be shown to you when you are buying your tyre. If it’s not clearly displayed next to the tyre, then a member of staff must show and explain the tyre label to you. This will be our responsibility by law. You will receive the tyre label along with your invoice.
HELP, I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT TYRE TO CHOOSE!
Don’t worry – at National Tyres and Autocare we will still provide you with advice on which tyre to choose by asking you questions about what’s important to you, and what type of driving you do. For example, if you’re on the motorway five days a week, you’ll have different requirements to someone who mainly uses their car for short, local trips. We will still help you make the best choice based on your car’s use and your budget. Tyre labelling will provide you with further, independent information so you can easily compare tyre makes for yourself.
DOES THIS LAW APPLY TO ALL TYRES?
The tyre label will apply to all tyres sold by National Tyres and Autocare, i.e.
- All car, 4x4, van and truck tyres sold by National.
However, the tyre label will not
- non road-legal tyres (e.g. racing tyres)
- re-treaded tyres
- T-type, temporary spare tyres
- vintage car tyres
- tyres made for cars before 1990
WHEN DOES TYRE LABELLING COME INTO FORCE?
Back to the Top
These provisions become law on 1st November 2012, and shall apply to all car and van tyres which are manufactured from 1st July 2012.
- From November 2012, all car, 4x4 and van tyres sold by National Tyres and Autocare must contain the EU Tyre Label.
- Tyre labels must be clearly displayed on all tyres.
- Before you make a purchase, a fitter must show/explain to you what the values on the tyre label mean in terms of FUEL EFFICIENCY, WET GRIP AND EXTERNAL NOISE to give you the opportunity to make an informed choice.
- The tyre label values will also be included on your invoice.