EU tyre labelling

I’ve written fairly extensively about the EU’s current tyre labelling system. Before it was introduced I’d covered how every-day consumers can consult the compulsory label to be fitted to all new tyres, giving a fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise rating.

Before I actually had to use the label, I thought it was more meddling from the European Union; a bureaucratic overhaul for no real reason.

You see, up until this point, I’ve never had to assess tyres for my car. My vehicle is a little unusual, so when it needs new rubber, I always know what to go for: Toyo R888s.

However, today I had to use that labelling system for the first time ever – and do you know what? It’s a bloody brilliant idea.

I was looking for some tyres for a BMW 1 Series. Size: 205/50 R17. Now, this is quite a common size, so there are quite a lot of tyres available in these dimensions, from Chinese ditchfinders to top-of-the-range premium European rubber.

I used tyreleader.co.uk – it’s a cracking website with decent discounts and loads of information – and I’ve not even been paid to say that.

My criteria were an all-season or summer tyre that didn’t cost a bomb, but had decent fuel efficiency and wet grip. Road noise was not so important.

Tyre size inputted, I ranked the results by price, ignored the first few pages until I got to around about £100 per corner then started scrutinising what was on offer.

Enter the EU labels

And it was made easy by the EU’s labelling system. All this info is available online for each tyre, so when the Ds and Es for fuel efficiency got in the way, I simply ignored them.

Once I’d found something that looked black and round and had plenty of As and Bs in its European appraisal I set to work doing a bit of research.

With the label, you’re not just picking blind, you can get closer to what you want, then nail it down with a small amount of research at the end.

I opted for a set of Goodyear Efficientgrip Performance hoops, mainly because they got a good write-up and were reduced from £155 to £89 per corner – that’s a 43% discount, and I’m not made of money…

Although I got a great deal, the real winner here is the consumer. The new grip/efficiency/noise labelling system makes it clear which tyres deliver on what front.

If it saves people time but importantly makes their buying decision easier and their motoring safer, brilliant.