In November 2012 the EU stated that suppliers of tyres must provide more information on fuel consumption, wet grip and noise classification. The key below has been employed to make it easier for customers to understand this.
This key must be employed for any new car, 4x4, SUV, van and the majority of truck tyres. The key can help drivers make an informed decision when buying tyres and the outcome target is that road safety will be improved and the impact of road transport on the environment will decrease.
Tyres are assessed on the 3 key areas of performance and should be given a rating for each, making it easy for consumers to compare tyres.
The 3 areas are:
The label classifies tyres from A which is the highest performing to G which is the lowest performing.
To rate the fuel efficiency of a tyre, the EU tyre labelling has taken into consideration the rolling resistance of a tyre. Rolling resistance is the energy that your vehicle needs to send to your tyres in order to continue moving at a consistent speed over a surface. Basically, it's how much effort is required to keep your tyres moving. The lower the rolling distance the lower the fuel consumption as less energy is required.
Good wet grip helps with breaking distance on slippery roads and is essential for keeping drivers and road users safe in the rain. These ratings are measured from the distance travelled by a car braking at 50mph on a wet surface. The best rated tyres will show a 30% shorter braking distance compared to those with the worst rating based on a full set of tyres fitted. Although there are other features which are relevant for tyre safety, wet grip was chosen by the EU as the most characteristic state of reduced adherence in Europe.
The measurement used for exterior noise levels is decibels and the EU tyre labelling key shows the 1-3 sound waves with 1 representing the best performance in terms of sound and 3 the worst. The measurement is based on the external rolling noise of a tyre and not the noise heard by the driver inside it.