Europe is the first region in the world to use ice tyre icons on tyres. In addition, the labels have an iceberg symbol and a QR code that opens a European database. The amendment shall take effect on 1st of May. The new labels are meant to help consumers better compare different tyres and to lead them to choose safer, more environmentally friendly ones.
The EU tyre label and efficiency classes come in a new design and are slightly changed due to a newly formed scale. The new labels contain the same three classes as before. Noise, wet grip, and fuel efficiency. However, the categories have been updated to match the labelling of household appliances. Category D has been removed and the scale has been reduced to the range from A to E. In addition, a new labelling method has been introduced for noise classes A to C and the decibel level remains the same. Information on the snow and ice grip performance of the tyre has been added to the tyre label. The symbol for use in snow (3PMSF) on the tyre is marked with a snow tyre icon and a tyre that meets required international performance criteria in ice testing is marked with ice tyre icon. The new label contains a QR code that provides additional information about the tyre from the EPREL
register (the European Product Registry for Energy Labelling). The use of the label is extended to truck and bus tyres.
Why are there new labels?
From now on, the tyre label will have markings for winter conditions. Winter tyres can be distinguished as those meant for Southern Europe and those meant for Northern Europe. This provides clarity, especially in the case of all-season tyres, where it is difficult for the customer to distinguish which market they are meant for. Winter tyres for the Southern European market are marked with a snow tyre icon (three-peak mountain snowflake symbol) and Northern European tyres are marked with an ice tyre icon (symbol of an ice stalagmite).
The reformed fuel economy categories aim to help the consumer choose more fuel-efficient tyres and thus reduce the amount of emissions to our environment in traffic.
Wet grip rating
‘Wet grip’ is the tyre’s ability to stick to the road in wet conditions. NB! The European Union rating focuses only on one aspect of wet grip – the wet braking performance of the tyre. Wet grip is graded between class A and class E.
Tyres account for up to 20% of your vehicle’s fuel consumption? Choosing tyres with a high fuel efficiency rating will give you more kilometres from your tank and lower your CO2 emissions. The fuel efficiency scale ranges from class A (best fuel economy) to class E (worst fuel economy). This indicator depends on the tyre’s rolling resistance. For each class, the fuel consumption increases by approximately 0.1 litres for every 100 km driven. Simply put, fuel-efficient tyres require less energy to roll. This ultimately translates into less fuel used and you’ll also be reducing your environmental impact!
The EU tyre ratings also consider the exterior noise a tyre generates while you are driving. By choosing a tyre with a good noise rating you can lower the impact of your driving on the surrounding environment. The noise level is sorted into classes A, B, and C. The rolling noise of the tyre is measured in decibels and the exact value is shown on the bottom part of the label. Tyres with a low noise level have between 67 and 71 dB. The highest level shows sound waves in between 72 and 77 dB. An increase of just a few decibels represents a big difference in noise levels. In fact, a difference of 3 dB doubles the amount of external noise the tyre produces.
Snow tyre icon
The snow tyre icon shows that a tyre is suitable for severe snow conditions and is intended primarily for winter tyres meant for Southern Europe. It is used on 3PMSF marked tyres and it depicts a three-peak mountain snowflake symbol that is incorporated in the sidewall of such tyres.
Ice tyre icon
The ice tyre icon indicates that a tyre provides shorter braking distance on ice covered roads in winter, it is only used for Nordic soft tyres. The image is a symbol of an ice stalagmite. As far as we know, the label is not incorporated in the sidewall of such tyres.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will retreaded tyres also have a label in the future?
YES. The regulation is set to be extended to retreaded tyres in 2023.
Does the new label provide additional information for the end consumer?
Yes. It is now possible to distinguish between all-season tyres that are designed for our climate and have proven grip in ice conditions (denoted by the ice tyre icon).
Can I drive with tyres that have snow and ice tyre icons in summer as well?
It is not prohibited; however, in summer, summer tyres
still have certain advantages, such as better handling and shorter braking distance on both dry and wet roads. Also, winter tyres with a softer mixture wear faster than summer tyres in the hot summer weather.
Why is there no ice tyre icon on the labels of studded tyres?
No. Studded tyres do not fall within the scope of the EU regulation on the labelling of tyres.
Can I drive with M+S tyres in winter?
No, in winter you can only drive with winter tyres that comply with the 3PMSF type-approval requirements (snow tyre icon). In our climate under winter conditions, it is recommended to use all-season tyres which in addition to the 3PMSF type-approval also have the ice tyre icon.