How to read the label
1 - FUEL EFFICIENCY/ROLLING RESISTANCE
Tyres are responsible for roughly 20% of a vehicle's fuel consumption due to their rolling resistance (friction from the tyres hitting the road). Reducing rolling resistance can therefore reduce fuel consumption.
Fuel efficiency is important to reduce both CO2 emissions and the cost of driving. In the same way as the labels you see on a refrigerator or washing machine, each tyre can be categorised for its fuel efficiency.
Tyres are rated between A-G; A being the most fuel efficient, G being the least fuel efficient. Choosing A-rated tyres over G-rated tyres could reduce fuel consumption by 7.5% a year.
So if a customer opts for A-rated tyres over G-rated tyres they could save a significant amount of fuel e.g. a saving of 80 litres per year which is more than £110 not to mention benefits to the environment with the reduced CO2 emissions (Based on driving 10,000 miles per year at £1.40 per litre).
2 - WET GRIP/BRAKING PERFORMANCE
Wet grip is a critical safety feature, relating to how quickly a tyre can stop on wet roads.
Tyres are rated A-F; A being the shortest braking distances in the wet, F being the longest braking distances in the wet.
The difference in each category can mean an extra one to two car lengths (3-6 metres) on the stopping distance.
Choosing A-rated tyres over F-rated tyres could reduce stopping distances by up to 18 metres which is the equivalent of four car lengths and could make a considerable difference when braking (Based on braking from 50mph in the wet).
3 - NOISE EMISSIONS/EXTERIOR NOISE
This relates to the external noise made by the tyre (not noise heard by the driver inside the car) and is measured in dB (decibels).
There are three ratings for noise as indicated by sound waves on the diagram. Tyres with one black wave are the quietest. Tyres with three waves are the loudest. The more black waves the louder the tyre.
Traffic noise is a major source of nuisance and new legislation over the next few years will see tougher rules on noise coming into force. Therefore the 3-wave pictogram tells you how a tyre rates in relation to these future European mandatory limits.
Opting for tyres with a one or two bar rating will ensure that customers comply with these new rules.