Determine fuel consumption, grip in wet weather and tyre noise via tyre labels
Since 2012, tyres have been clearly labelled to provide advice based on the tyres performance due to European regulation (1222/2009). You may also find the symbols on tyre websites, leaflets and promotional adverts. This enables you to choose the right kind of tyre for your needs and understand how it will perform in wet weather conditions, how fuel efficient the tyre is likely to be and the noise it may generate on contact with the road. This guide will help explain what you should be looking for and the meaning of each symbol on tyres.
Fuel Consumption / Rolling Resistance
Fuel consumption is related to the rolling resistance a tyre produces on the road surface. Therefore, reducing the rolling resistance, you’ll find that the vehicle consumes less fuel. The part of the label with a tyre and fuel pump indicates how well it performs, A being the best and G being the worst. EU regulations will also reduce the lower level of grades over time to promote better fuel efficiency. Here is how the label currently looks.
Wet Weather Performance & Grip
Wet grip is probably the most important safety characteristic of a tyre. Again the label has grade indicators from A-G (A indicates highest grip, G represents lowest grip). Shorter braking distances can be achieved with good wet weather tyres and at 50mph stopping distances between grades can be 1-2 car lengths. Overall, a 30 percent difference in stopping distance can be measured between grade A down to G. Again, here is the label with it’s symbol for your reference:
Lastly, tyre noise generated with contact on the road is a factor which can affect the environment. You might hear the noise too whilst driving if your car isn’t sound-proofed very well. The tyre label for noise created by the tyre is displayed in waves: one black wave is the lowest noise level and three is the highest. The symbol which you are looking for on a tyre label is below:
Remember that your tyre is the first contact with the road and despite these labels appearing trivial getting the right tyre could prevent an accident, or even save your life. Finding suitable tyres depends on your budget, driving style, car make and mileage but knowing how a tyre will perform thanks to these tyre labels will help you make a more informed choice.