Understanding the EU Tyre Label - Do you #KnowYourLabel?

Kwik Fit | Thursday 28th May 2015 9:00am

eu tyre label

Please note: this article refers to the EU tyre labels on tyres manufactured before May 2021. The new EU tyre label features a different rating system as well as other information. To find out about the new EU tyre labels, click here.

This month on our Facebook page we’ve been asking you how well you know your EU tyre label using the hashtag #knowyourlabel. As a leader in tyre labelling, Goodyear believes consumers should familiarise themselves with the EU Tyre label that can be found on all new tyres before making a purchase. So, how well do you #knowyourlabel?

What is the EU tyre label?

The EU tyre label, mandatory for all tyres sold in Europe, provides important information about safety and environmental aspects of a tyre (similar to the energy label found on kitchen appliances). Since November 2012, the EU tyre labels have graded passenger car tyres and truck tyres on three factors: rolling resistance, wet grip, and external noise levels. 

What does the EU tyre label look like?

Below is a diagram explaining the EU tyre label and its three key indicators.

EU tyre label explained

Fuel Efficiency

Did you know that tyres account for up to 20% of your vehicle’s fuel consumption? Choosing tyres with a high fuel efficiency rating will give you more miles from your tank and fewer CO2 emissions.

What is Fuel Efficiency?

As a tyre rolls along the road it creates friction. The greater the friction, the more energy will be needed to keep the tyre rolling, making the engine work harder and using more fuel. Simply put, fuel-efficient tyres require less energy to roll. An easy-rolling tyre has lower demands on fuel, since a smaller amount of energy is wasted on friction and heat. You may have heard of tyres with ‘low rolling resistance’, which means the same thing.

What else influences fuel efficiency?

For optimal fuel efficiency, make sure your tyres are correctly inflated. Low tyre pressure increases rolling resistance and impacts on wet grip performance. The weight of your vehicle and your personal driving style can also make a big difference. Energy-efficient driving, or “eco-driving” can significantly reduce your fuel consumption.

Cost savings of A-rated tyres

Wet Grip

In an emergency situation, a few metres can make all the difference.

What is Wet Grip?

‘Wet grip’ is the tyre’s ability to adhere to the road in wet conditions. The EU rating focuses only on one aspect of wet grip – the wet braking performance of the tyre.

Wet grip is an important factor to consider when choosing new tyres. Tyres with a high wet grip rating will stop in a shorter distance on wet roads when full brakes are applied.

What the ratings mean

For a passenger car applying full brakes from 50mph, a set of A-rated tyres will stop the car up to 18 metres (or 4 car lengths) shorter than a set of F-rated tyres.*

*When measured according to the test methods set out in Regulation EC 1222/2009. Braking distances may vary according to driving conditions and other influencing factors.

Passing noise

Think about the many thousands of cars on our roads each day. If we all chose tyres with lower noise ratings, imagine how much quieter our towns and cities would be?

What is passing noise?

The EU tyre label rating measures the external noise emissions of the tyre in decibels. Tyres contribute to the amount of pass-by noise a vehicle generates. Choosing a tyre with a good noise rating will lower the impact of your driving on the surrounding environment.

How is Noise classified?

Since many people are unfamiliar with decibel values, the noise class is also shown which categorises the tyre in relation to forthcoming European tyre noise limits:

  • 1 black wave: Quiet (3dB or more below the future European limit)
  • 2 black waves: Moderate (between the future European limit and 3dB below)
  • 3 black waves: Noisy (above the future European limit)

What the ratings mean

Decibel levels are measured on a logarithmic scale. This means that an increase of just a few decibels represents a big difference in noise levels. In fact, a difference of 3dB doubles the amount of external noise the tyre produces.

Taking Goodyear’s performance criteria into account

Besides the EU tyre label, there are other important criteria to consider when choosing a tyre. Goodyear’s engineers test each new tyre design against more than 50 performance criteria to provide the highest quality.

The 3/15/50 approach reflects the different numbers of performance criteria that Goodyear tyres are tested for.

  • 3: The number of performance criteria tested for under the EU tyre Labelling system
  • 15: The average number of performance criteria assessed under independent testing by Europe’s top automotive organisations and magazines
  • 50: The number of tests they put every new Goodyear tyre design through

Some important tests include:

  • Wet handling
  • Wet braking
  • Dry handling
  • Dry braking
  • Cornering grip
  • Durability
  • Aquaplaning in curves
  • Aquaplaning on straights
  • Traction Stability at high speed
  • Rolling resistance and many more...

Double A-rated tyres from Goodyear

Volkswagen Golf on test track

In January 2015, Goodyear introduced AA label grades on eight tyres sizes from its EfficientGrip Performance line. The move means that Goodyear is providing one of the largest number of tyre sizes sporting the AA European Tyre label grades on the market today.

The AA label delivers the highest grade set out by the European tyre label regulation and signifies a tyre that delivers an “A” in both fuel efficiency and wet grip. The “A” label in fuel efficiency means that the tyre’s rolling resistance has been reduced.

The eight new AA sizes complement an already extensive BA rated offering from Goodyear on the market today, with 53 EfficientGrip Performance sizes sporting a BA rating.

At Kwik Fit we stock a wide range of Goodyear tyres for cars, vans and SUVs. Find Goodyear tyres for your vehicle here.

For any further questions about your tyre labels, writing on your tyres, or your tyres' health, get in touch with the experts at your local Kwik Fit centre.

Tags : Tips Tyres

Any facts, figures and prices shown in our blog articles are correct at time of publication.

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