|The 1st November 2012 saw a new piece of legislation come into force that
requires the majority of new tyres to come with EU set Tyre Labels.
Legislation means that every new tyre sold within Europe (with some exceptions*) must be labelled - much like you would see on freezer, fridge or washing machine.
The tyre label uses a rating system ranging from A for the best to G for the worst in terms of fuel efficiency and wet grip, while their external rolling noise is rated in decibels.
The main goal of the new legislation is to provide more information to motorists on the performance of tyres, and hopefully to increase road safety.
*Note: The rules do not cover new cars in showrooms fitted with their original tyres. If you are buying racing, professional off road, spare, vintage, re-tread, motorbike or studded tyres, you will also not see this label.
The label focus on the three following affects:
||When a tyre moves, the energy is dispersed and lost, this is known as rolling resistance. The lost energy has an effect on fuel
consumption, so a tyre with a lower rolling resistance will be more
In the EU Tyre Regulation label, rolling resistance is expressed in
grades, ranging from A to G. A is the highest performance tyre in
its category; G is currently the least performing. To help draw a
clear line between the top and bottom three grades, D is not going
to be used as a grade.
Tyres with good grip in the wet have a shorter stopping distance and this label provides you with the information about grip on wet
roads. The ratings are measured via two types of test when a car is
travelling at 50mph.
Wet grip is expressed in grades,
ranging from A to F. A is the highest performance tyre in its
category; F is currently the least performing. To help draw a clear
line between the top and bottom three grades, D is not going to be
used as a grade.
A tyre's exterior noise grading is expressed in decibels and this is based on the external noise, not the noise level in the car. The
noise levels are also represented by three waves.
One black wave indicates the best noise level performance. It means that the noise level of the tyre is at least 3dB below the future legal limit. Three black waves indicate the weakest performance in terms of tyre noise output.
With each tyre on the market being tested and classified using the same criteria, vehicle owners will now be able to make a more informed decision when shopping for new tyres.
The experts say if fitting the worst scoring tyres in the Fuel category you could end up using 6 litres more fuel over 625 miles, than if you fitted 'A' rated tyres.
The difference in braking distances between each grade is roughly 3m - the average length of 1 car, making the difference between A and G 18m, 4 car lengths!
However the labels do not take into account other aspects including stopping distances when dry or in winter conditions, traction, aquaplaning resistance, and others. We recommend you discuss with the tyre supplier your needs based on your driving requirements.
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