Tyre labelling has a simple aim: to arm buyers with the information they need to choose the right tyres.
It measures the performance of tyres across three parameters: wet grip, fuel efficiency and noise.
Each of these criteria is given a rating, similar to those used for many domestic appliances, so a tyre buyer can tell at a glance how well a new tyre rates compared to its rivals.
Tyre manufacturers and suppliers have generally welcomed the regulation.
Simon Tattersall, head of national fleet at ATS Euromaster, says: “Labelling has removed the mystery from choosing tyres as it provides measurable criteria to make an educated decision.
"It is also moving in the right direction, especially for fuel consumption as it makes us more aware of our choices in daily life.”
Awareness of tyre labelling
Part of the EU’s labelling system is an insistence that every part of the supply chain has an obligation to inform its customer of the labelling and what it means.
A tyre manufacturer must tell a vehicle maker about the labelling when supplying OE tyres so the manufacturer can pass on this information, while a tyre retailer must inform its customer of the existence of the scheme and the rating for the tyres being fitted.
Fleet managers should also be told by any tyre manufacturer or retailer they have a contract with about the labelling system and what it means for each tyre fitted.
Even so, some fleet managers have found it difficult to learn more about the system.
Simon Binks, fleet manager, Innserve, points out: “All of our vehicles are contracted inclusive of tyres.
“I have requested a policy statement from the contract company about EU labelling of tyres but have not had a statement about this.”
Some fleet managers are not interested in tyre labelling as their policy is to go with original fitment tyres as replacements.
Ian Leonard, group fleet services manager, Speedy Services, says: “We have an existing deal with our tyre supplier who fits our preferred brand of tyres.
"If these tyres are not available, our fitter simply moves on to the next premium brand in the correct size, so we don’t really get too involved at this level as we trust our tyre supplier to do the best for us. As a result, tyre labelling has a minimal impact on our tyre choices.”
Others believe they are not in a position to make any judgement after only 12 months of the labelling system.