Tyre Labelling Explained

By Mariana Saenzpardo

Since 2012, it is mandatory that any new tyres that are sold in the EU have a label that classifies the tyre into three categories; fuel efficiency, wet grip and external noise.

Illustration showing tyre label detail

What to look for

Tyre labelling information is displayed in the same way as the energy efficiency labels on domestic white goods, such as a washing machine or dishwasher. The tyre label will have information on three key areas: fuel efficiency, wet grip and external noise.

Why this has happened

This is the result of European regulation (1222/2009) aimed at reducing fuel consumption and decreasing noise levels across Europe. Since tyres are responsible for around 20% of vehicle fuel consumption, the EU phased in mandatory, rolling resistance reductions, delivered in two stages in November 2012 and November 2016.

The EU’s targeted outcome is that road safety will improve and the environmental impact of road transport will be reduced.

Tyre labelling regulations on new tyres today enables consumers to make more informed choices when buying tyres. Tyres make one of the most important contributions to road safety and to the environmental impact of road transport; however, tyres don’t all offer the same level of performance.

Graphic showing tyre label in detail alongside a set of tyres with various label examples

What does each tyre label icon mean?

Fuel efficiency (rolling resistance)

fuel efficiency label

7 classes from G (least efficient) to A (most efficient). A tyre that is more fuel-efficient helps reduce driving costs and CO2 emissions. Choosing A-rated tyres could reduce fuel consumption by 7.5% and even more for trucks.

Wet grip

wet grip label

7 classes from G (least efficient) to A (most efficient). The most important role of a tyre is to provide safety in all conditions. Wet braking performance is critical to your road safety as it affects how quickly you will be able to brake on a wet road. Driving on four A rated tyres at 50mph can help you stop up to 18m (European Commission Impact assessment SEC (2008) 2860) or four car lengths shorter than if you were driving on four G rated tyres.

Exterior noise emission

exterior noise emission tyre label

Emissions are the amount of noise made by a tyre when it rolls along the road. Because the amount of noise generated affects the environment, manufacturers set stringent limits for the maximum permissible noise level outside the vehicle. The label shows noise levels measured in decibels (dB).

  • A single black ‘sound wave’ denotes that the tyre’s noise level is 3dB better than the future European limit

  • Two black ‘sound waves’ shows that the tyre meets the future European limit

  • Three black ‘sound waves’ shows that the tyre only meets the current European limit for noise

Tyre labelling does not apply to:

  • Retreads (worn tyres that have had treads replaced through re-manufacturing processes)

  • Motorcycle tyres

  • Professional racing or off-road tyres

  • Studded tyres (provided the studs are fitted)

  • Run flats/temporary tyres/space savers

  • Tyres intended only for cars first registered before 1 October 1990

  • Those with a speed rating less than 80 km/h (50mph)

  • Tyres with a rim diameter of less than 254 millimetres or more than 635 millimetres*


Top Tip from Protyre

Choosing a C rated tyre over an E rated tyre – You will use 3% less fuel and save the cost of a tyre through improved fuel efficiency. 

At Protyre, we’re here to help

Not all of the information you may need is on the tyre label. Your nearest Protyre centre can provide you with additional advice on aspects such as:

  • Tyre longevity

  • Dry road braking and handling

  • Aquaplaning and wet road handling

  • Comfort factors and ride quality

We offer a variety of Free Safety Checks to keep you on the road. Take advantage of our Free Tyre Check at any of our garages. Click the button below to book your vehicle in today!

Free tyre check

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About the author

Article Author Photo
By Mariana Saenzpardo
Mariana is a Digital Marketing Specialist for Protyre who is also responsible for the running of our Protyre website.
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