Things are going to change soon when it comes to tyre fitting and services in the UK as tyre test ratings are to become law and from the end of 2012. From December 1st all new tyres sold must come with energy rating-style labels that show independent ratings for fuel efficiency, safety and noise.
They will be categorised using a seven grade ranking scale, similar to the new car CO2 or fridge efficiency labels. The new laws will force tyre companies to pass stringent assessments, after which all rubber will be given a rating and it will become a legal requirement for tyre retailers to display the new label on all replacement tyres.
Motoring groups welcome the new regulations, which will allow shoppers to base their choice on more than just price and brand. “It’s a good starting point that can be developed in the future,” said a spokeswoman for the AA. “People should be more aware of their tyres. When buying, most simply go with the cheapest rubber.”
The ratings will force Far Eastern firms to improve their quality, after tests by Auto Express showed that some budget brands performed badly. Chinese maker Wanli finished bottom in the Auto Express tyre test, with only low rolling resistance and a cheap price working in its favour.
Buying the right tyre for your car could soon therefore become a lot easier thanks to this new legislation and, as with any other consumer product; a standard of comparison can only make for a more informed purchase.
The new labelling system should encourage tyre consumers to pay more attention to what their local garage or tyre-fitter is putting on their car. Paying an extra few pounds per tyre won’t seem as bad if those same tyres are saving you £50 in fuel each year, and even less so if they allow you to stop quicker in the event of an emergency.