What do the new EU tyre labels mean?

From 1st May 2021, the Europe-wide standard for tyres has changed. Autoparts has a user-friendly guide to understanding the new rules on the Continent around tyres.


What are the EU’s new labels for tyres?

Regulation (EU) 2020/740 will change the way tyres are labelled.

The labelling changes can be summed up as follows:

Whereas the previous EU-wide tyre label only showed tyre classes with regard to rolling resistance, wet grip and external rolling noise, the new labels give drivers extra info about tyre performance when faced with elements like snow and ice on a road.

What’s more, instead of seven classifications for performance areas like wet grip and rolling resistance, the new labels have five, ranked from ‘A’ (top-performing tyres) to ‘E’ (the most modest performance level).


Why has this been introduced?

Said to be designed to allow vehicle consumers to make more informed decisions when choosing new tyres for their vehicles, it’s hoped that clear categories will make this process smoother. Categories will include:

  • Wet grip rating: in an emergency stop situation, with full braking applied to a car, a few metres can be crucial in avoiding bumps and collisions. Grading is qualitative from A to E, (shortest to longest braking distance with full braking employed).
  • Fuel efficiency: tyres account for 20% of your fuel efficiency, so ‘A’-rated tyres will save you money – and help the environment through better fuel efficiency on your journey!
  • Noise rating: classified from A to C - or best to worst – the label on a tyre will show the noise it makes during in-drive contact with the road, in decibels. This typically ranges from 67 to 77 decibels (dB).


When does it come into force?

It already has - Regulation (EU) 2020/740 came into force on 1st May 2021.


Who does this labelling system apply to?

The 27 European Union (EU) member states and their 450 million citizens, as well as European Economic Area (EEA) states Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

As the UK has left the EU, this new legislation does not apply to retailers in Great Britain, who remain subject to regulation (EC) 1222/2009. However, the tyre industry has committed to make the new EU labels digitally available across the whole of the UK, a step which will ensure consistent consumer information for all tyres.

Drivers travelling to the Continent, and UK licence holders living in Europe, will also be subject to the new quality controls around tyres when buying new tyres in Europe.


Find a fantastic range of tyres for your own vehicle in Autoparts’ Tyres section