The introduction of new tyre labelling to assess fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise performance could see prices rise, according to car leasing specialist Boss Automotive.
New legislation from Europe will be introduced from 1st November this year, dictating that every tyre sold must display ratings for fuel efficiency (rolling resistance), safety (wet braking) and noise. A picture-based system will be used similar to energy efficiency marks on white goods – enabling potential buyers to compare tyre characteristics before making a purchase.
Ken Davis, chief executive of Solihull based Boss Automotive, which also provides vehicle schemes and fleet management services, said: “This move is likely to see the end of cheap tyres and all new tyres could be more expensive.
“Tyre manufactures will have to ensure the information is supplied with every new tyre that leaves the factory and retailers will have an obligation to ensure the information is displayed.
“These new requirements mean higher standards, so many cheaper, lower grade tyres, especially those from China, would become illegal overnight.”
Like the European energy label, the tyre label will use classes ranging from best-performance (green “A” class) to worst (red “G” class). Besides indicating how much the tyre affects the car’s fuel efficiency, it will also give information about its performance in wet conditions and its external rolling noise in decibels.
As of 1st November, 2012, suppliers of tyres for passenger cars, light and heavy duty vehicles (C1, C2 and C3 tyres) will also have to inform consumers about fuel efficiency, wet grip and noise classes in any technical promotional material, including websites. Re-tread tyres, off-road professional tyres and racing tyres will be exempt from this requirement.
All C1 and C2 tyres produced after 1st July, 2012, must either have a sticker or be accompanied by the label when distributed from the factory to a shop or a garage.
Unlike household appliances, tyres are not always on display in the shops, so Members of the European Parliament insisted that retailers be obliged to show the label to the buyer before the sale and also on, or with, bills.