New EU Tyre Labels

New EU regulation on tyre labelling for passenger cars and light trucks took effect in November 2012. It bought a major advance in consumer information on tyre safety, the tyre’s impact on the environment and the external noise they produce.

The graphics on the new label are similar to those used for household appliances and also for new cars to explain CO2 emissions, but what are the benefits of using this style of labelling for tyres?

The new labelling easily allows you to compare:

Fuel economy

  • Fuel efficiency is graded from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient).
  • The difference between each grade means a reduction or increase in fuel consumption of between 2.5 – 4.5%.
  • This means that using A-grade tyres driving at 50mph uses 7.5% less fuel than G-grade tyres which could reduce your average fuel costs by around £100 over the life of the tyres.

Wet grip

  • Again, performance is graded from A (the safest, with shortest stopping distances) to G (least safe, with longest stopping distances).
  • The difference between each grade is a stopping distance of between 3-6 meters when travelling at 50mph.
  • This means your stopping distance could be reduced by up to 18 meters (30% shorter) if you choose A-grade tyres rather than G-grade tyres.

External noise level

  • Noise level is shown in decibels (dB) and the 3-wave pictogram shows you the rating in relation to future European mandatory limits.
  • One sound-wave means that the tyre is 3dB quieter than the new, tighter future European limit, two sound-waves means that it is already compliant with the future European limit and three sound-waves means it is only compliant with the current limit.
  • 3dB doesn’t sound like a lot but it is actually double the noise!

Of course, these aren’t the only factors to consider when buying tyres, but it is a good starting point. Whilst the new labelling system will make it easier to distinguish which tyres are the safest and most efficient, it is important to remember that even the most premium A-grade tyres can only provide a limited benefit if they are not inflated to the correct tyre pressure.

To ensure that you’re getting the most out of your tyres, visit us for a free tyre inspection and we will check the general condition of your tyres, the tread depth and that the tyre pressure is optimal for your car.