This week, the tyre industry began to roll-out its largest ever customer information programme that will deliver crucial cost and safety information to the UK’s 44 million motorists.
Tyre companies have begun the process of labelling each of the 35 million tyres sold each year in the UK. The labels will explain the fuel efficiency, safety and external noise level of every tyre on sale in car dealership aftersales departments and fast fit operations across the country.
“There are more than 150 million tyres currently on UK roads, so any information to help motorists understand crucial safety and performance characteristics is valuable, particularly given the safety improvements and fuel efficiency savings that can be gained from choosing the right tyre,” said Paul Everitt, SMMT Chief Executive. “Before this tyre label, customers only had price and brand to distinguish between more than 300 different types of tyres; now motorists have a set of comparable factors to make buying decisions easier.”
From 1 November it will become a legal requirement for tyre retailers to display the new label on all replacement tyres, but labels will start appearing in shops and dealerships from this week. Fuel efficiency (rolling resistance) and safety (wet grip) will be categorised using a seven grade ranking scale, similar to the new car CO2 or fridge efficiency labels.
A top-ranked A-grade tyre could out-perform the lowest-ranked G-grade tyre by 30% for safety and 7.5% for fuel efficiency. This translates to a vehicle stopping three to four car lengths shorter from 50mph and a fuel cost saving of around £100 every year for the average motorist.
Franchised dealers and garages subscribed to the OFT-backed Motor Codes garage scheme are briefed with the latest information to provide first-class advice to motorists on the new tyre labelling legislation. Visit vehicle manufacturer websites or motorcodes.co.uk to find your nearest dealership or tyre stockist.
Tyre manufacturer Continental said, “Continental considers the tyre label to be a real breakthrough in providing standard performance data to motorists in the interest of improving road safety by providing information on wet grip, and for the environment with the classifications for noise and rolling resistance.
“However, the EU label only shows three of more than 14 important tyre performance criteria. Tyre tests from magazines will continue to be the most comprehensive source of information for motorists because they provide complete and independent reports covering nearly all criteria for the most popular tyre sizes.”
About tyre labelling:
Responsibility of tyre manufacturers/importers
The information on rolling resistance / wet grip / noise will be visible on:
- The sticker or a label (only for passenger cars and commercial vans).
- The technical documentation.
Responsibility of tyre distributors
At point of sale:
- If tyres are visible to the consumer, they must carry a sticker delivered by the manufacturer or have a label print immediately next to the tyre, in a clearly visible position.
- If tyres are not visible to the final consumer, the distributor must provide end users with information on the fuel efficiency class, wet grip class and external rolling noise class and measured value of those tyres.
- Whenever tyres are offered for sale (on-line, phone, written offer, etc), the distributors must provide end users with information on the fuel efficiency class, wet grip class and external rolling noise class and measured value of those tyres before the sale.
- The class information must be integrated on or with the invoices delivered to the end user.
Responsibility of the vehicle manufacturers and distributors
Where end users are offered a choice at the point of sale between different tyres to be fitted on a new vehicle that they intend to acquire, vehicle suppliers and distributors must, before the sale, provide them with information for each of the tyres offered, on the fuel efficiency class, the wet grip class and the external rolling noise class and the measured value. That information should be included at least in the technical promotional material.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is one of the largest and most influential trade associations in the UK. It supports the interests of the UK automotive industry at home and abroad, promoting a united position to government, stakeholders and the media.
The automotive industry is a vital part of the UK economy accounting for £49 billion turnover and £10 billion value added. With over 700,000 jobs dependent on the industry, it accounts for more than 10% of total UK exports and invests £1.3 billion each year in automotive R&D. Since 2000, huge strides have been made to reduce the environmental impact of its products throughout the life cycle. Improvements in production processes mean that since 2000, energy used to produce vehicles is down 28%, water use has been cut by 40% and 78% less waste enters landfill sites. Average new car tailpipe CO2 emissions have also been slashed and are down 23.7% compared with 2000 to 138g/km CO2.