The New EU Tire Label Explained

The new EU tyre label was mandated by the EU Commission in 2009 as part of its Energy Efficiency Action Plan, which aims to decrease overall energy consumption by 20 % by the year 2020. The new rules came into effect November 1, 2012, and were designed to address a lack of information about tyres and fuel efficiency. The EU tyre label applies to tyres produced on or after July 1 of 2012 for passenger vehicles, light commercial vehicles and heavy trucks. Racing tyres, studded tyres and spare tyres are exempt from the rule. Tyres for some vehicles first registered before October 1, 1990, are also exempt.

The EU Commission expects member states to enforce the new rules.

The label must be displayed on tyre manufacturer’s and importers’ websites and on their promotional and technical literature. Manufacturers of passenger vehicles and light truck tyres must either attach the label in sticker form to each tyre, or they can submit a label with each shipment to tyre distributors.

Tyre distributors must display the labels on or near tyres on display for sale before the tyres are purchased. Fuel efficiency, wet-grip and noise ratings must be communicated to consumers at time of sale if the tyres are not purchased from a display. That information must also be communicated with or on the bill of sale.

  • Vehicle suppliers and distributors must display the required information whenever they offer a choice of tyres.
  • The label displays ratings for fuel efficiency, wet grip and tyre noise. The noise rating is included for health considerations.
  • The energy efficiency and wet grip ratings are displayed on separate scales ranging from “A” to “G”, with “A” representing the highest efficiency and strongest wet grip.
  • The energy-efficiency rating is based on the rolling resistance of the tyre and is also colour-coded, with green indicating the most environmentally friendly rating. The “A” on the fuel efficiency scale has a dark green background. “B” is on a light green background. “G” is on a red background. The “B” rating represents fuel efficiency of 1.2 litres per one thousand kilometres better than a “C”-rated tyre
  • The wet grip portion of the label is based on a tyre’s stopping distance for a vehicle travelling 80 km per hour. Each grade indicates a difference of over three meters in a tyre’s stopping distance. The stopping distance of a class “A” tyre is 18 meters less than that of a class “F” tyre.
  • The noise rating on the bottom of the label appears in graphic form showing a tyre emitting three sound waves. The loudest rating is three shaded waves. The tyre’s decibel rating is also given. A noise level of 80 decibels is considered harmful to human health.

The label does not display tyre performance with respect to hydroplaning and braking and handling on dry road. The labelling system does not address studded tyres or performance on snow. That information is available from other sources, such as trade magazines.

For further information please follow these links:

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This guide was compiled by Paul O’Hara in conjunction with, a Manchester based provider of quality used cars.

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