New Tyre-rating labels to make choice easier for consumers
CHOOSING new tyres for your car should become a lot more straightforward from November thanks to a new EU labelling system.
All dealers will have to display a sticker which rates a tyre under three key headings: fuel efficiency (rolling resistance), safe braking (wet grip) and exterior noise levels. It will either be on the tyre or beside it.
The labels, which must go on display in showrooms from November 1, will be similar to those now-familiar stickers which show energy ratings for electronic goods like fridges and cookers.
Under the wet-grip heading, performance will be graded from A to G, although initially D and G will not be used.
According to leading German manufacturer Continental, the stopping distance between a class-A tyre and a class-F version can be as much as 18 metres.
While safety will always be hugely important when picking a new tyre, a product with a high fuel-efficiency rating will be attractive at a time when petrol prices are rocketing.
The fuel-efficiency rating will go from A (low consumption) to G, though D is not used.
From A to G, fuel consumption will increase by between 0.42 to 0.56mpg, based on a car which does 36mpg. About 20pc of fuel consumption is caused by tyres, so manufacturers are constantly striving to reduce rolling resistance by using new compounds.
A 10pc cut in rolling resistance translates into a 1.6pc saving on fuel consumption. Reducing rolling resistance also helps cut CO2 emissions.
With the era of €2-a-litre petrol edging closer, the new label will obviously be hugely influential when it comes to choosing a new tyre.