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Understanding EU Tyre Labels

Tyre labels were introduced in 2012 to help customers choose the tyre that’s right for their car. The label explains three things about that tyre’s performance – fuel efficiency, wet grip and external rolling noise.

The new EU tyre label is intended to give consumers more information when choosing new tyres. The label shows wet grip (stopping distance in a straight line), exterior noise and fuel efficiency data. The presentation is based on the familiar EU energy efficiency label

Note for car, 4x4 and van tyres:Class D is not used so there are only 6 classes for Fuel efficiency. In addition, for Wet grip class G is also not used so there are only 5 classes for Wet grip.

FUEL EFFICIENCY (Rolling Resistance)

Fuel efficiency is rated A-G, where A is the best possible rating. Reducing the rolling resistance makes the tyre roll further with less fuel, i.e. better fuel efficiency. So a tyre that is A-rated has less rolling resistance than one that is rated G. For example, on a journey of 1000km, a C-rated tyre uses 1.2 litres more fuel than a tyre that’s rated B.

7 classes from G (least efficient) to A (most efficient)

Effect may vary among vehicles and driving conditions, but the difference between a G and an A class for a complete set of tyres could reduce fuel consumption by up to 7.5 %* and even more in case of trucks.

WET GRIP (Braking Performance)

Again, this category is rated A-G where A is the best possible. Take a car that’s travelling at 80kmh. With A-rated tyres, it stops in the shortest distance. B-rated tyres increase that distance by 3 metres, C-rated tyres increase the distance by an additional 4 metres (so +7 metres versus A-rated tyres), E-rated tyres increase the stopping distance by 5 metres (+12 meters v A-rated tyres) and F-rated tyres increase the distance by 6 metres – that’s an extra 18 metres compared to an A-rated tyre.

At the point where the A-rated tyres have completely stopped, a car with F-rated tyres has only slowed by 30kmh – and is still going at over 50kmh.

7 classes from G (longest braking distances) to A (shortest braking distances)

Effect may vary among vehicles and driving conditions, but in the case of full braking, the difference between a G and an A class for a set of four identical tyres could be up to 30% shorter braking distance (e.g. for a typical passenger car driving at 80 km/h speed this could be up to 18m shorter braking distance) *.

NOISE (Exterior Rolling Noise – not cabin noise)

In this category, the more bars that are filled in on the tyre, the louder the rolling noise outside the car

The tyre label only tells you about these three specific aspects of performance. Your local Bathwick tyres dealer can tell you lots more about which tyre is best for you – and there’s nothing a tyre dealer enjoys more than chatting about tyres! They’ll take all the jargon out of it and explain what you need to look out for. So, if you’re in need of advice, drop into your nearest outlet.

In addition to the noise value in Decibel dB(A) a pictogram displays whether the tyre external rolling noise performance is above the future European mandatory limit value

(3 black bars= noisier tyre), between the future limit value and 3dB below
(2 black bars= average tyre) or more than 3 dB below the future limit value
(1 black bar = low noise tyre).
NB: The tyre external rolling noise is not entirely correlated to vehicle interior noise.

What else is important when choosing new tyres?

The label does not address every factor which is critical to overall tyre performance:

  • Dry handling
  • Dry grip (straight line)
  • Dry grip (circles/cornering)
  • Wet handling
  • Wet grip (circles/cornering)
  • Resistance to aquaplaning (straight/curved)
  • High
  • speed stability
  • Interior noise
  • Tread wear

Please remember the following:

Actual fuel savings and road safety depend heavily on the behavior of drivers:

  • Eco-driving can significantly reduce fuel consumption
  • Tyre pressures should be regularly checked to optimize wet grip and fuel efficiency performance
  • Stopping distances should always be strictly respected

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