Those of you who have visited our Dromore depot will have noticed a tiny screen on the reception counter as you have ordered your tyres or paid your bill. This isn’t just a cute addition to our reception furniture. This has been installed as part of our changes to meet the requirements of the EU tyre labelling legislation that came into force in November 2012.
Why has tyre labelling been introduced?
Tyre labels are required on all new tyres and were introduced by the EU to help customers understand how to compare new tyres. The focus is on their environmental impact, in what can be a baffling array of availability. Legislators hope that consumers have a more informed idea of the performance of the tyres and will be guided to make an energy efficient tyre purchase. The system does not claim to cover all aspects of the tyre purchase, but don’t worry, we are here to help.
So who decides how the tyres score?
The scale scores on the tyre labels are based on the tyre manufacturers own declarations. The EU requires member states to regulate the market to ensure compliance.
Understanding a tyre label
The 3 categories compared on the labels are fuel efficiency, wet grip and road noise.
Choosing a tyre with a higher rated fuel efficiency will give you more miles per gallon.
Fuel efficiency is rated from A to G on a colour-coded scale:
A (green) = highest fuel efficiency rating
G (red) = lowest fuel efficiency rating
The difference between an A rating and a G rating could mean a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 7.5%.
The scale focuses on the wet braking performance of the tyre. The patterns cut into a tyre’s surface (tread) are designed to help water dispersal, and this is another key research area for tyre manufacturers.
Wet grip is rated from A to F:
A = highest rating (that is the shortest wet braking distance)
F = lowest rating (that is the longest wet braking distance).
The ratings are measured with braking distances when cars travelling at 50mph. The difference in the wet braking distance between a car fitted with tyres classed as ‘A’ compared to ‘F’ is over 10 metres. That’s equivalent to 2 car lengths!
The EU labels shows the measurement of external noise emissions of the tyre in decibels.
For consumers unfamiliar with measurement by decibels the black waves show a pictorial idea of where the tyre fits into the scale of noise emission:
1 black wave: Quiet
2 black waves: Moderate
3 black waves: Noisy
What’s not in a tyre label?
While the EU label addresses some important criteria in tyre performance, there are other factors that may influence your tyre purchase. These factors are measured by tyre manufacturers during testing, but are not recorded on the EU label. These include tyre wear, dry handling, wet cornering and winter performance. So how you drive and what conditions you drive in will determine how your tyre wears over time, and how it performs in an emergency. Whether you prefer to buy top brand or basic budget you should consider these factors along with how much you want to pay.
How we can help
The more information you as customers have in making your tyre purchase the more confidence you have in making the purchase. The reception staff in our Dromore depot are experienced in walking you through this purchase decision and are constantly updating their knowledge of tyres available. Our tyre stock covers the whole spectrum from budget to brand. And what we don’t have in stock we will get for you or advise you on a suitable alternative.
I hope you have found this simple guide to tyre labelling helpful. Feel free to give us a call to discuss the options for your car.