EU Tyre Labelling
As of November 2012, all new car, 4x4, SUV, van and most truck tyres manufactured after 1st July 2012 carry an EU tyre label which is similar to the energy stickers that appear on white goods.
No two makes of tyre are the same, so the EU tyre label has been created to provide drivers with objective, reliable and comparable information about each tyre so that you can make a more informed choice when buying new tyres. The EUís targeted outcome is that road safety will improve and that the environmental impact of road transport will be reduced.
The EU Tyre label explained
Every tyre is assessed on three key areas of tyre performance and given a rating in each of these three categories for the EU tyre label, allowing the consumer to compare tyres on a like-for-like basis. The three areas assessed are:
- Fuel Efficiency - How economic is this tyre? - Savings
- Wet Grip - How quickly can the tyre stop in wet conditions? - Safety
- Exterior Noise - How noisy is the tyre? - Volume
The EU tyre labelling criteria looks at the rolling resistance of the tyre in order to rate its fuel efficiency. Rolling resistance is the force acting opposite to the tyreís direction of travel. As a tyre rolls along the road it creates friction, the higher the friction the more energy will be needed to keep the tyre rolling, making the engine work harder and using more fuel. Tyres with low rolling resistance place lower demands on fuel since less energy is being used as the tyres roll along the road.
The difference in fuel consumption between a car fitted with A and G class tyres is around 0.5 litres per 100km, that's a saving of around 80 litres and more than £110 per year.*
Other factors affect fuel consumption such as aerodynamics, vehicle weight, type of engine, auxiliary systems like air-conditioning slope of the road, personal driving style, tyre pressure level, accelerations or general traffic conditions.
*Savings based on a petrol engine car travelling 10,000 miles per year with £1.40 per litre fuel cost
Tyres with excellent wet grip have shorter braking distances on slippery roads and increased aquaplaning resistance, essential for keeping you safe in the rain.
These ratings are measured from the distance travelled by a car after braking at 50mph in the wet.* Tyres with the best EU tyre label rating for wet grip will exhibit a 30% shorter braking distance than those with the worst rating for a full set of tyres fitted to an average car.
A tyreís EU tyre label wet grip rating reflects the capacity of the tyre to brake on a wet road. However, there are other parameters which are relevant for safety (e.g. road holding ability, directional control, deceleration ability on wet and dry surfaces at higher speed and aquaplaning behaviour) but wet grip was chosen by the EU as the most representative situation of reduced adherence in Europe.
*Testing according to regulation EC 1222/2009
Exterior noise levels are measured in decibels (dB) and shown as one, two or three sound waves on the EU tyre label. One wave is the best performance, three is the worst. In fact, three bars is the current limit, while two meets future laws and one is a further 3dBs below. The EU tyre label only measures the external rolling noise of the tyre which is not related to the in-cabin noise that the driver will experience.