28 Jan 2023 - 17:52:24
1112 Posts
In the past the importance of buying good quality tyres was largely underestimated. Many shoppers were drawn to a particular type by their cost and while most consumers would have preferred to buy a recognisable brand, they would not necessarily have paid more to buy them of a particular make. However, a tyre's attributes can quite literally be lifesaving but with them looking identical to the untrained eye, how can the average person select one tyre over another if not by price? Equally, the expression 'to get what you pay for' does not necessarily apply to tyre buying so opting for the most expensive option is also not a valid choice. It is for these reasons that labelling has been introduced so that consumers can see for themselves where a particular type's strengths lie and know exactly what they are paying for.

While there are many parameters in which a tyre could be assessed, the obligatory labels associated with the EU regulations assess them within three categories: Fuel consumption, wet grip and external noise.

Fuel Consumption
Tyres can have a dramatic impact on the overall fuel consumption of a car as they account for approximately a fifth of a vehicle's fuel consumption. This is mostly because of rolling resistance which refers to the resistance between a tyre and the road surface. Rolling resistance can be affected by the material a tyre is made from which means there can be quite a difference among different tyres. Reducing a car's rolling resistance can improve fuel efficiency which is why many manufacturers dedicate time and effort to reducing the rolling resistance of their tyres. Therefore, selecting tyres classed A on the new labelling system could significantly reduce the amount of fuel you use and therefore how much you spend on fuel. While this might mean buying more expensive tyres, in the long run it could be the cheaper option.

Wet Grip
Good grip in wet conditions is an essential safety feature of tyres. A tyre's wet grip is determined by the tread of the tyre; the more channels in the tread, the more easily the tyre can channel water away from the area where the tyre is in contact with the road surface. Doing this effectively prevents hydroplaning as once the water has been displaced, the tyre finds more grip. The tread pattern can also affect how quickly this process takes place. The better the wet grip of a tyre, the shorter the braking distance in wet conditions so it is not a tyre characteristic to take lightly.

External Noise
Lastly, the tyre labels also give consumers an indication of how noisy a tyre is. This has been included as a category to help reduce traffic-related noise for communities and is depicted on labels by black waves. Three black waves is the highest level and therefore noisiest type of tyre.

Overall, the new tyre labelling system has affected everyone; manufacturers, retailers and consumers have all been impacted. With every tyre assessed under the same criteria, tyre labelling has made shopping for tyres that much easier and may well improve the safety of some consumer's cars and save consumers money.

Tim Machin runs Tyre Medics, a company which allows customers to buy tyres online and also offers mobile Brake Disc in Farnham fitting services to save you time and money. Tyre Medics run a 24/7 emergency call out service for roadside tyre repair in the M1, M69, M6 'triangle'.

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