Tyre labelling ‘valuable’

6th November 2012

New regulations governing the labelling of tyres have been largely welcomed by the world of motoring.

The EU regulation relates to all new tyres sold in Europe and requires them to display a label which denotes their rating for performance in wet conditions, how noisy they are, and how fuel efficient.

Those tyres which perform best will be awarded an A rating, which will appear in green, while the worst performing tyres will be given a red G-rating.

The Fleet Transport Association's head of engineering Andy Mair suggested that the system is aimed more at individuals, rather than businesses.

"The new tyre labelling requirements are likely to have more of an effect on drivers of passenger cars rather than commercial vehicle operators. The road transport sector in recent years has seen an increasingly focussed approach on tyre selection and maintenance, and commercial fleet managers are well ahead of the game when it comes to specifying tyres for commercial vehicles," he said.

He suggested that the new regulations meant that fleets would have a "valuable like-for-like guidance" system.

Michelin has implied that fuel-efficient tyres may make a real difference when it comes to paying out at the pump.

Highly rated tyres could mean a saving of "up to £110 or 80 litres of fuel over the life of the tyres … for a car fitted with four A-rated tyres driving at 50mph – it uses 7.5 per cent less fuel than with G-rated tyres", Michelin stated.

Motorists concerned about safety should be pleased to hear that choosing highly-rated tyres can make a real difference when it comes to stopping distances.

According to Michelin, a car which is fitted with four A-rated tyres and is travelling at 50 mph could stop up to four car lengths shorter, compared to a car which has G-rated tyres.

Drivers, Michelin suggests, should be aware that they need to take other factors into account when choosing the best tyres for their vehicles.

How a car performs in dry conditions is also essential. Michelin quotes statistics from Verkehrsunfallforschung and Technical University of Dresden which revealed, perhaps surprisingly, that 70 per cent of accidents occur on dry roads.

Road handling performance is equally important when it comes to choosing the right tyres, as the research also reveals that one quarter of road accidents happen on bends.

Those concerned about the ever increasing costs of motoring may also want to consider how long the tyres they've bought will last.

Michelin states that choosing the right tyre "could give you more than a year of extra driving compared to another tyre".

It's clear that the new system will make a difference to tyre manufacturers and will make them more accountable for the quality of their products.

Commenting on the new labelling system, manager of consumer fleet business at Goodyear Dunlop Kerry Watts said that it is "quite a big deal".

"Outside fit for purpose, it's the first time that we'll have a performance requirement to sell a tyre," he said.

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Posted by Danielle Barge