As part of EU regulations the tyre label must be displayed on tyres which have been manufactured from July 2012. The aim is to give consumers essential information to help them when choosing new tyres.
The label rates the tyre’s performance for fuel efficiency, wet grip and external noise. This helps promote safer, more efficient and less noisy tyres, improving safety and environmental impact.
The label is standardised so regardless of whether it’s Continental, Michelin or Barum, customers can compare tyres like-for-like.
Also tyre distributors like Viking and Viking's customers will be responsible for ensuring that the tyre labelling information is available to their customers at all times. This section provides more information about how to read the new tyre label and what the values mean, how Viking implements the labelling rules and what responsibilities you have to your customers.
THE RULES FOR TYRE DISTRIBUTORS
(e.g. VIKING, VIKING CUSTOMERS)
1. All tyres must be labelled. The tyre label must be clearly visible to the customer during the sales process or if not visible, then you must inform customers during the sales process about the tyre labels and what the values mean.
2. The Regulation states that tyre label values must be provided to the customer on or with their invoice or receipt.
Viking maintain the following steps to ensure compliance with the regulations;
• Viking sales and telesales staff are fully trained on the regulations and will be able to advise customers during the sales process and help by providing any additional information when required
• Viking’s website will also show the tyre label ratings for all tyres being sold online
• Tyre label values will appear on all customer invoices
What are my responsibilities to the customers?
As a tyre distributor, Viking customers also need to follow the three rules during the sales process with their own customers to comply with legislation. See Rules for tyre distributors for more details.
Does this apply to all tyres?
The tyre label applies to ALL new car and 4x4 tyres, van tyres and truck tyres in the EU.
What about stocks of tyres that were manufactured before 1st July 2012?
There is no legal requirement to provide labels on tyres manufactured before 1st July 2012. Tyre retailers/distributors will have to manage the transitional period while tyres made before and after July 2012 are stocked.
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.
For further information about the new tyre labelling rules, read the tyre labelling guidance document from the Tyre Industry Federation at www.tyreindustryfederation.co.uk or visit TyreSafe at www.tyresafe.org for further information.