Tuesday, 24 June 2014

The EU Tyre Label - What Does It Mean?

Back in November 2012 the tyre industry quietly launched the EU Tyre Label, this label was designed to give customers more of an idea of what they were buying and the ability to compare tyres on more than the name, price and pattern design.

Since April 2014 it has been a legal requirement for tyres that were made during this month or later to come with an EU Tyre Rating. This is the biggest change that has happened to the tyre industry in over 2 decades. We look at the Ins and Outs of Tyre Labels and whether they will help you choose what tyres to buy. Check out the video Continental have done to explain the Labels.

Firstly lets look at what the label actually shows:

  1. Fuel Consumption
  2. Wet Grip
  3. Noise Level
Fuel Consumption:

Based on an A-G Rating
Shows the amount of energy lost when a tyre is rolling
The Lower the rolling resistance the less fuel is lost

Wet Grip:

Rated on an A-G scale
Measures the braking distance on wet roads
The higher the rating the shorter the braking

Noise Level:

Rated in Decibels and Waves
The higher the Wave the louder the noise
2 Waves is soon to be the limit on noise level

But Do The Ratings Really Make That Much Difference?

You might be thinking that the ratings won't make much difference, we take a look and find out.

Fuel Consumption:

A vs G - A rated tyres could save you over 6 litres of fuel compared to G rated ones over 625 miles. This does however depend on your driving style and conditions.

Wet Grip:

A vs G - Between each rating the distance increase by roughly 3 meters or 1 car length. So the difference between A and G is 18 meters or 4 Car Lengths. A huge difference.

So What Tyres Should I Buy?

Although some say that the EU Tyre Labels have made buying tyres easier due to the ability to see a distinct difference in each tyre, other argue that the Label doesn't go far enough and things like Wear, should be added to the label.

Here at Ears, we welcome any positive changes that make it easier to buy tyres, so we do endorse the tyre label as a good starting point on what tyres to buy.

If you're still comparing tyres and don't know which to buy, we would recommend going for which ever has the higher wet grip rating even if the fuel efficiency is low. As we'd rather be safe than save a few quid. 

Friday, 13 June 2014

Budget Tyres vs Premium Tyres

We have been asked many times about the quality of budget vs the price of premium tyres, for everything from a small car, Ford Fiesta to a big 4x4, Audi Q7. Below I will help you answer any questions you may have when buying new tyres.

Buying new tyres can be a confusing nightmare. With a huge selection to choose from, the decision can be mind boggling. Tyres are generally placed into 3 categories; Budget, Mid-Brand and Premium, but what gives you the best value for money, we take a look below to see what's what.

Budget Tyres

The key question for budget tyres is what is their overall value for money. Yes they may be cheap at the time but if they don't last as long or performance is sub standard will you need new tyres sooner rather than later. Ideally budget tyres are suited for slower speeds on B roads or for cars that do a lower annual mileage. Whilst they will still be a very safe tyre performance hasn't really been looked at due to the selling price. So if you just use your car as a run around for popping to the shops, the budget tyres could give you the ideal combination of price with performance.

Mid-Brand Tyres

Mid-Brand Tyres are middle of the market, slap bang between Budget and Premium Tyres. Often tyres in this section are manufactured by Premium Tyre companies and put under a different name, for example Continental make Semperit Tyres. What happens with Mid Brand tyres is that they use the technology from Premium tyres, maybe 3-6 months later than Premium Tyres use it. Ideally suited for general everyday use, with wear and fuel efficiency far outweighing that on budget tyres.

Premium Tyres

Premium Tyres are the ones everyone has heard of such as Pirelli, Michelin and Continental. Tyres in this category use the latest in tyre technology in all aspects of the tyre, Fuel Efficiency, Performance and Wear, meaning they will easily outperform cheaper tyres in 90% if not all areas. However they can be expensive, depending on the size you need. They're ideally suited to cars that cover a lot of miles or are regularly used at high speeds on motorways for example.

Still Don't Know What Tyres To Buy?

The EU have tried to make it easier when buying tyres, by introducing an 'EU Tyre Label'. This new label is similar to what white goods, such as Fridges have on them. The Tyre Label show the performance of the tyres ' Wet Grip, Fuel Efficiency and Decibel Levels'. Rated on A-G on both Wet Grip and Fuel Efficiency with A being the highest rating. These labels are on every tyre whether it's Budget, Mid Brand or Premium, so you can see exactly what performance you're going to get from each tyre.