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70% of motorists unaware of EU tyre labelling

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More than two-thirds of motorists questioned by Continental said they were not aware of the new EU tyre labelling regulation.

The regulation, which came into force from November 1, 2012,  sees tyres rated in three areas: fuel efficiency, wet grip and external noise.

Peter Robb, brand manager at Continental tyres, said: “It’s the biggest thing to happen to the industry for quite a while and it seems to be passing a few people by.”

However, he pointed out that people may be unaware because they are not yet in the market for new tyres.

“If you’re only in the market for new tyres every two years it could be a year-and-a-half before you’re exposed to the tyre labelling. I think if we did the test in two years’ time the awareness level would be quite high.”

The survey highlighted that there is a need to educate drivers about the label with 20% of respondents mistakenly thinking one of the categories would tell you how many miles a tyre would last.

A fifth of survey respondents said they found the label confusing with a further quarter suggesting that there isn’t enough detail and there are other things to consider when buying tyres, such as buying from a dealer they trust.

Just over half (52%) said the label would not change their decision-making.

Fleet managers’ response to the label

Feedback from fleet managers about the new regulation has been varied, according to Robb, with some “taking it on board” and others not placing it high on their list.

He added that as yet there has been “no real change in buying patterns”.

Phil Scanlan, sales director at Continental, said: “No one has said ‘we must only have AA tyres specified on our fleets’.”

Robb suggested that while the label is useful, fleet managers must bear in mind that there are a number of other performance criteria which is not measured.

“The label is a good indicator but it’s not the be all and end all,” he said. “Sticking to the OE tyre is going to be the best option.”

Enforcement of the label

Policing is still a big issue, according to Robb, as the Department for Transport has not yet announced how the label will be enforced.

“No decision has been made about enforcement and therefore no penalties exist,” he said. “The British Tyre Manufacturers Association is trying to lobby the Government. As a collective we’re trying to make sure it is brought to life.”

Further information

For an explanation of the tyre label and the impact on fleets click here


Click here for tyres best practice and procurement insight

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  • Miss Tracey Smithen - 02/01/2013 12:37

    Can you recommend a tyre listing guide via manufacturer to assist with this problem?

  • Jim - 02/01/2013 13:17

    More technical details (or a link to such information) in this article would have been useful. All we have is "sees tyres rated in three areas: fuel efficiency, wet grip and external noise". Many other factors could be considered regarding the subject of this article: Is each of the 3 areas rated in terms of A-E or 1-10 or how ? Was it not considered desirable (for the consumers) to have longevity as an area of consideration ? - Why do the tyre manufacturers continue to get away with avoiding this ? Was it posible to include any measure of sidewall strength ? etc.

  • sarahtooze - 02/01/2013 14:09

    Thanks for your comments, a link has now been added to a previous article. Hope this helps

  • sarahtooze - 02/01/2013 14:31

    Tracey, I don't have a listing but I understand that the tyre retailers should have listings on their websites if you want to compare tyres.

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