To help drivers in making an informed choice about safer and more environmentally friendly driving, from 1st November 2012 all new car tyre labels will be labelled according to their performance in three key areas.
The performance measures displayed on the label will rate the tyre's fuel efficiency, wet braking performance and exterior noise emission characteristics.
There are seven categories of fuel efficiency on the new labels, although grade “D” is not used. Category “A” is the most efficient and means you will use the least amount of fuel for your journey.
For example: A vehicle with four “A” graded tyres instead of “G” could reduce the fuel consumption by 7.5%
Wet grip is an important safety aspect of a tyre as it affects how quickly you will be able to stop in wet conditions.
The braking distance of a vehicle travelling at 50mph, driving on a straight road covered with between 0.5 and 1.5mm of water is measured.
The labels go from A (the shortest braking distance) to F for the longest.
There are no D and G grades for car and van tyres.
For a typical passenger car, driving on four of the same tyres, the difference between an “A” graded tyre and an “F” graded tyre is 30%. This is more than 18 metres at 50mph, which is equivalent to the length of more than 4 cars!
This is a measurement of the amount of external noise generated by the tyre on the road surface. This measure is included because of the effect that traffic has on noise pollution.
Below 30mph, most of the noise heard by a vehicle is engine noise, above that speed it is the noise that the tyres create that dominates.
For tyre labelling, the tests are carried out on a vehicle travelling at 50mph, engine switched off (freewheeling).
3 black bars: above future EU limit
2 black bars: meets future EU limit
1 black bar: at least 3 dB below the future EU limit