New EU tyre label regulations expected in UK by end of 2021

New tyre label regulations from the EU are expected to be introduced in the UK before the end of the year.

The new rules, which are designed to improve awareness of tyre characteristics, were introduced in Ireland and Northern Ireland on May 1.

The new EU tyre label must be applied to heavy-duty commercial vehicle tyres including trucks and buses (Class C3) with all tyre suppliers – including commercial vehicle suppliers - now required to inform buyers of the label values during the sales process.

It now rates wet braking distances and fuel efficiency from A to E, with A being the best performing, and ranks external noise of the tyre from A to C, with A the quietest. It also includes winter performance data, via the Three Peak Mountain Snowflake (3PMS) symbol, which determines whether a tyre meets tough snow performance requirements, as stipulated when driving across many European countries during colder seasons.

For C1 and C2 tyres, for cars and vans respectively, those previously in class E for fuel efficiency and wet grip will now be assigned to Class D which was previously empty, while those formerly in classes F and G will be assigned to class E. This makes the label clearer and easier to interpret.

Another addition to the EU tyre label is the stipulation that it must include a unique QR code, both on the on actual label and in the tyre manufacturers’ information that links the tyre to the European Product Database for Energy Labelling (EPREL) database, where additional tyre label information can be obtained.

As it stands, the regulation underpinning the new EU tyre labels only applies to new tyres, with revised legislation relating to retread tyres expected in 2023. 

Importantly for commercial vehicle operators, mileage performance is not yet incorporated into the label, on the basis that suitable test methods are not currently available. The label values are also based on the tyre’s performance when new and do not take into account the performance characteristics of the tyre across its lifetime.

Tony Stapleton, head of group fleet sales at Continental Tyres, said: “The new EU tyre label is designed to help people choose safer, more fuel-efficient tyres, factors which are vitally important whether you drive a car, a van or are responsible for choosing tyres for a commercial vehicle fleet.

 “However commercial vehicle customers should view the labelling as just one part of their discussions with tyre suppliers, to ensure performance factors not included in the labelling, such as the opposing requirements of mileage and durability, are factored into their choice. Most fleets need to make sure their tyres offer a balance between these contrasting drivers, and this will greatly differ fleet to fleet depending on the type of operation and vehicles.

“For example, for construction and waste disposal fleets, tyre durability is critical, with fuel efficiency taking a secondary role, whereas in general haulage such as retail distribution, the fuel efficiency capabilities of a tyre will likely play a far greater role.”

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