The new tire label will appear on May 1st

The old EU tire label and the new tire label in comparison (Photo: © Initiative Tire Quality - “I play it safe!”)

The importance of tires for motorists cannot be overestimated. Because the car tires determine the safety and economy of the vehicle. But when it comes to buying tires, drivers are spoiled for choice: there is a huge selection of makes and models on the market. The EU tire label is intended to provide clarity and inform drivers about the most important tire properties. From May 1, 2021, new requirements for tire labeling will apply.

The EU tire label has been compulsory since 2012: The colorful sticker, which can usually be found directly on the tire, informs motorists about the rolling properties, wet braking properties and noise emissions of tires. In this way, consumers can compare different models with one another and opt for the safest possible tires. The new label should be clearer and better represent the energy efficiency of the tires.

New tire label: what's changing?

The 2021 tire label is visually similar to the well-known EU energy label. So far, the rolling resistance and the wet braking properties have been divided into seven classes. Only five levels from A to E are given on the new label. The new classification is intended to make it easier for drivers to interpret the information more quickly. Classes A to C for rolling properties stand for high tire efficiency. The noise emission was shown on the old label with the aid of a loudspeaker symbol. The number of rings indicated the volume in decibels. On the new label, the rings will be replaced by the letters A, B and C. Additional signs provide information about the snow and ice adhesion of winter tires. If drivers still need detailed data on the tires, you will find a QR code on the new label with which they can be downloaded.

safety first

So how does the new label help when buying tires? When choosing tires, it is fundamentally important to know that there is a so-called trade-off in tire development. This means that if one property, such as mileage, is optimized, another criterion, in this case the braking distance, deteriorates. However, drivers should always opt for tires with the shortest possible braking distance. Safety comes first in road traffic. The new label makes the information clearer, but experts criticize the fact that the new label does not take into account important tire safety criteria, such as cornering and dry grip, aquaplaning properties, driving stability and service life. In addition, there can be large quality gradations within the label classes that are not clearly recognizable for consumers. Road safety experts therefore recommend that drivers read independent tire tests and seek comprehensive advice from experts - for more safety in road traffic.

More information about tires can be found at Tire safety initiative of the DVR.

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