New EU tyre label regulation has been introduced on 1 May 2021
Ireland and Northern Ireland have been applying the new rules since they've been introduced, and now it's UK's turn to follow them, too. The UK expects to introduce new tyre labelling regulation by the end of 2021.
What are the new 2021 rules on tyre labelling?
The EU tyre label regulation from 2012 applied to cars and vans only. The new 2021 tyre labelling regulation requires that tyres for lorries and buses must also be labelled. The labels, which primarily focused on fuel efficiency, safety, and noise performance, now offer a new pictogram, where relevant, to highlight tyres suitable for snow or extreme, icy conditions. The label itself hasn't changed and still follows the colour-coded classification system seen on washing machines, dishwashers and fridge-freezers.
New 2021 EU and UK tyre labels explained
From 1st May 2021, all tyre suppliers are obliged to inform the buyer of the label values at the point of sale. The label ratings are based on the new tyre's performance and do not consider its lifetime performance.
There are now 5 different classes for rolling resistance and braking in wet conditions, measured from A to E, where A is the best performing. The external noise is measured in decibels (dB). Which is ranked from A to C, with A being the quietest. The label also includes snow and ice performance, determining whether the tyre is suitable for harsh snowy conditions.
C1 (cars) and C2 (vans) tyres previously in class E for fuel efficiency and wet grip will now be in Class D (which was once empty). Those in Class F and G will now be assigned to Class E - this will make the labels clearer and easier to understand on the consumer level.
Another new addition to the EU tyre label is the QR code, which is unique to each tyre and must be placed on both the label and the tyre manufacturers' information. This code links the tyre to the European Product Database for Energy Labelling (EPREL), where additional tyre label information can be obtained.
Importantly for commercial vehicle operators, the original plan to include ratings for mileage and wear didn't work due to the lack of suitable test methods being currently available.
Why should the tyre rating matter, especially to van drivers?
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. (...) 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."
What happens with the tyres produced before May 2021?
To account for stock, the EU allows the selling of tyres produced before the new regulation until the end of 2021.
When leasing a vehicle with CVC, you can guarantee that it meets all required standards, including the tyres. When you add a maintenance package to your deal, the tyres will be replaced with new ones when and as needed.
Keep up with any changes to road laws by visiting our weekly blog.
ROAD LAWS NEWS