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New European Tyre Labelling (2012)

In November 2012 new EU regulations came  in to force to make comparisons between different tyre makes and models easier than ever before.
These labels take their inspiration from the energy efficiency labelling that can be found on products as diverse as washing machines to inkjet printers. They are intended to show, in a simple and clear way,  important information about the specific performance of each model of tyre so that the consumer may make an informed decision between two tyres however the areas of performance that they compare are limited.
In the words of the EU:

“The label is NOT a quality label covering all aspects related to the overall performance of a tyre. It cannot replace quality testing by specialised laboratories or information provided by manufacturers and others (e.g. motoring associations), which may use a wide range of criteria for quality. In that respect it is similar to the energy efficiency label for washing machines, which indicates how much electricity a washing machine typically uses per year, but does not say anything about specific extra functions a washing machine might have.
For example, the indication M&S (mud and snow) is not part of the tyre label, as it should already be marked on the side of a tyre in accordance with an international convention. Other parameters such as behaviour in aquaplaning or handling on curves could not be included in the labelling scheme because of the lack of recognised standardised testing methods”.


The new label has been designed by the EU and is shown below:

The label shows three key pieces of information about the performance of each tyre. This information is derived through standard testing that conforms to the EU’s exacting specifications.
These tests record each tyre's performance in three areas: Fuel Efficiency, Wet Grip and External Rolling Noise.

EU Labelling


Fuel Efficiency


The Fuel Efficiency of a tyre is measured by establishing it’s “Rolling Resistance”. This quantifies the amount of energy required to turn the tyre so that it may be compared to other tyres. The lower the rolling resistance of a tyre, the more fuel efficient it will be. Your car tyres could affect your fuel efficiency by up to 20% so the choosing the right tyre can make a significant difference to your bill and the amount of CO2 your vehicle emits.

The result of the Rolling Resistance tests are graded as A to G. A is the best performance level for a tyre in this category and G is the lowest. Choosing an A rated tyre rather than a G rated tyre could reduce your fuel bill by up to 9%.

Wet Grip


The Wet Grip performance of a tyre is measures it’s wet weather braking efficiency. The tyre undergoes two tests at 50mph which are designed to test the straight line grip in wet conditions. These tests are not intended to test cornering performance in the wet, only staight line braking.

The result of the Wet Grip tests are graded as A to G. A is the best performance level for a tyre in this category and G is the lowest. Each grade represents an increase braking performance roughly equal to 3m. This is approximately the length of a car. Therefore buying an A grade tyre rather than a G grade could result in an improved wet braking of  up to18 metres.

External Noise


The External Rolling Noise performance of a tyre measures, in decibles (Db), the level of noise produced by a tyre as it turns on the road. This is expressed as a number of Dbs and graphically as a varying number of black “sound waves” as shown on the icon to the left.

It represents a noise output level between the current maximum and the new lower European limit that will be introduced as Regulation 661, between 2012 and 2016.