Improvements to EU tyre labelling are due in 2021

Improvements to EU tyre labelling are due in 2021

19 Dec

By Gwyn Fennell

Since its introduction in November 2012, the EU tyre label has been helping UK motorists make an informed tyre purchasing decision. In May 2021, this useful tyre buying guide will be updated. At Protyre we’re keen to see that consumers are better informed before making their purchasing decisions.

How will the EU tyre label change?

Presently, the EU tyre label provides motorists with three key metrics; fuel efficiency, wet grip and braking performance, and external noise levels. These elements will remain on the updated label, but the scales tyres are judged by and the values attributed to each metric will fall into line with those used for the European Energy-related consumer labelling, such as for white goods and consumer electronics. The ‘A’ rating represents the top ranking, through to ‘E’, the worst by comparison.

Fuel efficiency

With vehicle running costs uppermost in many drivers’ minds, it’s no surprise that tyre fuel efficiency features on both the old and the updated label. The significant difference will be the simplification of the scale employed to denote a tyre’s fuel usage, which is reduced from seven bands to just five. This should make it easier for consumers to better understand and compare these values.

Wet grip and braking performance

Arguably the most important metric to be found on the EU tyre label, the tyre wet grip rating identifies which provide the best safety performance in wet weather conditions. As with fuel efficiency, the reduction in bands will make tyre comparison clearer and easier to understand, essential for such an important aspect of the purchasing decision process.

External noise levels

Given the amount of time many motorists spend in their vehicles, the quality of driving experience is important, and external noise levels play a significant role in this. While wind and engine noise cannot be reduced, the volume of tyre sound can. Rolling resistance determines the external noise level of tyres, and also influences fuel efficiency.

Do the label changes go far enough?

While these three metrics are all valuable, they are not the only ones that drivers should consider when buying new tyres. There are many other values to be taken into account, such as those employed for independent tyre tests. These include:

  • The date the tyre was made
  • Dry handling
  • Ride comfort
  • Durability (road hazard resistance)
  • Interior noise
  • Mileage performance
  • Corner aquaplaning
  • Straight line stability
  • Steering predictability

These metrics, along with those found on the EU tyre label, determine which tyres are judged to be the best by automotive commentators and motoring experts. It’s these values that lead Auto Express, the UK’s largest selling weekly car magazine, to bestow their 2018 Best Summer Tyre, Best Winter Tyre, and Best All-season tyre awards to Continental – an unprecedented treble in a single year, and the reason why they subsequently honoured the leading premium tyre manufacturer with their Product of the Year 2019 award.
This isn’t a one-off acknowledgement of quality, either. With a long heritage of providing UK drivers with award-winning products, Continental tyres are fitted to nearly one of every three new cars that leave the automotive factories of Europe. Their OE – Original Equipment – is engineered to bring out the very best performance and characteristics of a wide variety of individual vehicle makes and models. It’s for this reason that if your car is fitted with OE you should always opt for a straight like-for-like replacement when it comes to purchasing new tyres.

Ask an expert – talk to Protyre

If you’re unsure whether your vehicle is fitted with Original Equipment, or have any questions about the EU tyre label, pop into your nearest Protyre garage for impartial, expert tyre advice.

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