New Tyre labels on their way
The current tyre labelling system provides a simple way for consumers to evaluate and compare tyres based on various criteria. However, as tyre technology is immensely complicated, the labels have been criticised by telling only half the story. For example, a good ‘wet weather grip’ score can be at the expense of dry grip, which is not assessed.
All passenger car and van tyres must possess a sticker that indicates not only wet grip ability but also rolling noise performance and impact on fuel consumption. An updated tyre label is mooted to add winter/cold weather performance and, specifically, grip levels on snow and ice.
You will not see the new labels until May 2021, because the means of assessing a tyre’s winter performance have yet to be decided. According to winter and cold weather tyre specialist, Nokian Tyres, the Ice Grip test is currently undergoing standardisation at the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and snow grip is down to the United Nations ECE regulations.
While Nordic driving conditions are rare in the UK, it is worth noting that rubber hardens and tyre grip levels decrease below a notional seven degrees Celsius, which can be encountered regularly during morning and evening commute times. Therefore, a winter rating is likely to highlight advantages in those conditions as well but, of course, this depends on the test standards. Finally, while the UK may have left the EU by then, it is possible that these labels will still be adopted in our market. Naturally, GEM will keep you updated.