Eco labels on tyres 'in need of a service'

30th June 2014 - Fine Cut

Labelling on tyres that is supposed to inform potential purchasers how efficient the product is on the road is not providing all the details it should do, according to new research.

A study carried out by Emissions Analytics has found those with a lower rating can perform just as well as those carrying a higher grade when travelling at certain speeds. 

This means that those who base their buying decisions on how much money they will save on fuel in the long term could be being misled, depending on how and where they typically travel in their car.

Chief executive officer and founder of Emissions Analytics Nick Molden said: "Our test found that at mid-range speeds, F-rated tyres can perform as well as B-rated tyres," adding: "Tyre efficiency labels don't provide enough information for buyers to make an informed choice."

The current tyre labelling system was introduced in November 2012 after being made mandatory by the European Union. It was hoped the information would allow fleet and private buyers to make informed choices on what they were using for their vehicles, saving money and reducing their carbon emissions in the process.

However, this research suggests that more needs to be done to tighten up the current formula used to work out the products that deserve the top grades. 

According to the findings, the difference between F-rated and B-rated products became more evident at higher speeds, with the latter being 12.9 per cent more fuel efficient when used at 70 miles per hour.

As a result, those who choose to spend more on tyres that are supposedly more eco-friendly are unlikely to see any benefit if their travel is largely limited to within urban areas. 

The news is the latest to suggest that much can be done to improve the measures currently in place, with the National Tyre Distributors Association finding 93 per cent of tyre retailer customers not asking for information on the label. Similarly, just 30 per cent knew a car's tyres could make a difference to the amount of fuel it consumes.

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