EU Introducing Compulsory Tyre Performance Labelling

If you have purchased a washing machine, fridge or any other white goods in the last few years, you will have noticed that they are all sold with a standardised energy efficiency rating, showing how energy efficient they are on a scale from A-G.

Introducing EU Tyre Labelling – Coming Soon…

An example of an EU tyre label, which will be introduced in Nov 2012
An example of an EU tyre label, which will be introduced in Nov 2012

Starting in November 2012, new EU legislation on energy efficiency labelling is going to apply to car tyres, too.

Tyres are going to be rated based on wet performance, fuel efficiency and noise levels – all three of which can vary between tyres of the same specification. Ratings for fuel efficiency and wet performance  will be from A-G, with A being the best and G the worst.

Wet Performance

The importance and usefulness of good grip in wet conditions is obvious, especially in the UK. What many motorists don’t realise, however, is how much difference in wet grip there is between different tyres.

Fuel Efficiency

Different tyres have different levels of rolling resistance – in other words, some tyres roll along the road with less effort than others. This has an impact on fuel efficiency – tyres with low rolling resistance will provide better fuel economy and lower CO2 emissions, all other things being equal.

Low rolling resistance tyres like Michelin’s Energy Saver are increasingly common as original fitment on new cars as manufacturers try to minimise their car’s CO2 emissions and fuel consumption.

Noise

We are all familiar with tyre noise – stand next to a motorway or main road and the whooshing noise of tyres is much louder than most engine noise.

Some tyres are noisier than others – so knowing which are the quietest tyres should help motorists enjoy a quieter ride in their own cars and reduce noise pollution on a wider scale. To help you read the label, a lower dB number means a quieter tyre.

How Will It Work?

Tyre retailers will be required to make these labels available at the point of sale – presumably in the form of catalogues or price lists, as most tyre fitting centres stock far too many tyres to have one of each on display.

The usefulness of this information has been questioned by some – tyre company Continental, for instance, has criticised the proposals as the tyre manufacturers themselves will certify the tyres, rather than an independent testing body. Still, they should provide a useful way of comparing different tyres and help motorists see the benefits of buying better quality tyres – which often offer better fuel efficiency or wet grip than cheap tyres.

I will update this website with more information nearer the time, as there is still scope for some of the details to change before this scheme becomes compulsory in November 2012.

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