EU Tyre label and what it means
Your tyres will come with a label divided into three sections with information on:
Depending on the tyre’s rolling resistance, its Fuel Efficiency Class will range from:
• A is the most efficient tyre and will save you fuel;
• G is the least efficient tyre and will use up the most fuel.
The Wet Grip rating tells you how well the tyres perform in wet conditions on a scale from A (safest) to G (worst performing tyre).
A tyre’s noise level is measured in decibels (dB) using a three wave scale
A brand space provides the manufacturer’s details, including the trade name/mark, tyre line, tyre dimensions, load index, speed rating, etc.
What the tyre label is;
The label uses easy-to-understand pictograms to provide information on three essential aspects of a tyre’s performance: fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise. This information helps consumers make an informed choice.
What the tyre label is not;
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 wider range of criteria for characterising the tyres.
For clarity reasons, the label does not address too many parameters. For example, it does not address how long the tyre will last, driving in snow, behaviour in aquaplaning or handling on curves.
Incorrect Tyre Pressure & Tread Depth
Illegal, defective or under-inflated tyres is the most common vehicle defect contributing to fatal crashes (Reported road casualties Great Britain: annual report 2013, Department for Transport, 2014), yet is one of the simplest to detect and rectify. Many drivers do not pay attention to the state of their tyres: a Brake survey found seven in 10 UK drivers (70%) did not know the legal minimum tyre tread depth for their vehicle (Are you ready to drive? Brake and Direct Line, 2009). A separate survey of young drivers found one in three (34%) never check their tyre tread depth and one in four (25%) never check tyre pressure (Young drivers and their tyres, TyreSafe and Ingenie, 2013).
Tyres must be kept in at the correct pressure as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Driving with under-inflated tyres results in reduced steering control, longer stopping distances, increased risk of skidding on wet roads, greater fuel consumption, and more wear to the tyres.
Tyres must be replaced when the tread depth wears down, as this greatly increases stopping distances. In the UK car and van tyres must be replaced before the legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm, however research has found that braking distances increase far before this point, particularly in wet conditions. Samko therefore recommends that tyres are changed once tread depth reaches 3mm. Drivers should check tyre tread depth once a week, and before every long journey.