UK Tyre Laws

UK Tyre Laws

The UK law requires a vehicles tyres must comply with a number of legal requirements, these range from those that the manufacturer must meet to those that the vehicle driver is responsible for. From July lst 2012 in addition to standard sidewall markings further EU requirements were placed on the manufacturer selling into the UK.
Throughout the EU, manufacturers and importers now have to provide information detailing the performance of their tyre's in the form of a label that should be attached new tyres.

EU tyre label

Label Details

Fuel Efficiency / Rolling Resistance: When rolling, friction between a tyre and the road surface uses energy, at various different speeds the tyre will deform and this loss of energy will vary. This wasted energy directly affects your fuel efficiency, lower rolling resistances being a feature of higher performance tyre. More efficient tyres use less energy, and less fuel. The scoring for tyre efficiency is shown on the label, and rated A to G, with A being the higher efficiency tyre.

Wet Grip / Braking Performance: Higher performing wet grip tyres have shorter stopping distances on wet, slippery and greasy road surfaces. This rating is based upon measuring the distance traveled by a car after braking at 50mph in the wet. Also rated A to G, with A being the best performing tyre.

Noise Emission / Exterior Noise: A tyre's noise emission expressed in decibels (dB) is shown on the label as a speaker icon with three sound waves. One Wave indicates the better performing (quieter) tyre. Three Waves is the current EU dB maximum acceptable level.

Vehicle Owners

Vehicle owners are responsible for the correct fitment and condition of tyres, this includes tread depth, tread condition, inflation pressure,tread/sidewall damage, any signs of irregular wear.
The penalties for having illegal tyres are currently up to a £2500 fine and 3 penalty points for each defective tyre

Tyre Type Mixing Vehicles are not permitted to have radial tyres on the front wheels and cross ply on the rear wheels, it is also illegal to have a cross ply tyre on one side with a radial on the other.
All steerable axles must be fitted with tyres of the same construction, as must all driven axles that are not steerable.

Unsuitability All tyres must have a service description (i.e. load and speed index) and the vehicle must be operated within these limits.

Tyre Pressures Tyres should be inflated so as to make them fit for the use to which the motor vehicle put, specifications can be found here but allowances for speed and load should be made.

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