Consumers to benefit as new EU tyre labelling rules come into force
Publication date: 31 October 2012
A new EU tyre labelling regulation comes into force as of 01 November 2012. The new rules aim to provide end-users of vehicles with relevant information about the quality of the estimated 115 million tyres sold in the EU every year, and to guide them towards choosing a product which is more fuel efficient, has better braking in wet conditions and is less noisy.
Jacob Bangsgaard, Director General of the FIA Region I office, said “We welcome this regulation as an important impetus for the tyre industry to continue to build on its efforts to improve both the safety and efficiency performance of its products.”
The new label will grade tyres from A to G for rolling resistance (fuel efficiency) and wet grip (safety), whilst the number of decibels (dbs) on the label will display their rolling noise.
The new rules should help the consumer to effectively compare tyres by providing clearer information on performance. According to European Commission estimates, as tyres account for 20 % to 30 % of the fuel consumption of vehicles, choosing a tyre rated ‘A’ for its energy efficiency can help you make fuel cost savings in the range of €170-€230 per year compared to the least performing model. And when taking into account the higher price of ‘A’ class tyres compared to ‘G’ class (€240-€320 for a set of four) the break-even point is reached in the course of the second year following your purchase, i.e. well before the end of life of high-quality tyres.
A survey carried out by Rezulteo-pneu.fr/Ipsos in five major European countries, launched with the French Automobile Club Association, shows that while some 78% of European consumers are unaware of the changes underway, 80% are in favour of tyre labelling. Indeed, 85% of respondents said they were willing to pay more for a tyre capable of reducing the braking distance (increased safety) and rolling resistance (increased energy efficiency).
Mr Bangsgaard commented, “The results of the survey show that while consumers are strongly in favour of tyre labelling, much more needs to be done to raise their awareness of how the new system will work.”
Through regular testing, FIA Clubs play an important role in informing their members about criteria for tyres, for example on abrasion and tyre performance in dry/wet or ice/ snow conditions (see for example ADAC).
The legalisation comes as part of the energy efficiency action plan and will contribute to achieving the objective of reducing by 20% the total energy consumption of the European Union by 2020.
For more information, please find here a Questions and Answers document prepared by the European Commission here.
The Rezulteo-pneu.fr/Ipsos survey can be downloaded here.