Wet tyre

Guide to the new tyre labelling system

Come the end of 2012 there’s set to be a shake-up in terms of tyres. They’ll still be black and round, but it will be mandatory for all new rubber to carry an explanatory information label to inform consumers of what they’re getting.

The new data labelling system has been campaigned for by Environmental Protection UK. The idea is to inform buyers on how many types of tyre there are on the market, and the varying characteristics different rubber brings.

It’ll also help fleet managers and maintenance companies make educated decisions about the rubber they shod their lease cars with, too.

The information system will highlight three key aspects of a tyre’s performance:

– Wet grip

– Rolling resistance/fuel efficiency

– Road noise

A wet grip rating will be given from A (most grip) to G (least grip); the same scale will also indicate the product’s rolling resistance, and as a result, fuel efficiency. The more grip the tyre generates, the more resistance to movement it has, therefore more fuel is needed to induce motion and this will in turn increase CO2 emissions.

According to Environmental Protection UK, there can be as much as a 4.5 per cent variance in fuel economy between grade A and G, and a six metre stopping distance difference at 50mph between each grade. The European Commission’s Impact Assessment SEC (2008) 2860 quotes even higher proposing as much as 7.5 per cent variance depending on the vehicle and driving conditions.

The roar your tyre creates will also be graded, split into three categories. These are denoted by ‘sound waves’ on the tyre’s sidewall – one for the quietest rating rising to three for the noisiest rubber. Please note though the interior noise in the vehicle won’t be entirely correlated to the external rolling noise.

EU Tyre Label

For many, tyres are a dark art, with compounds, tread pattern and manufacturer all providing different characteristics and consequently changing the performance of a vehicle.

The new readily consultable information label has been designed to reduce any confusion as to how well a tyre will perform, standardising the criteria against which consumers can judge a tyre’s strengths and weaknesses.

This new legislation will be applicable to every tyre sold in the EU from 1st November 2012 and will apply to all tyres produced after 30th June 2012.

For any questions on the new legislation please don’t hesitate to ask one of our service team or if you have any thoughts on the new legislation please leave a comment below.