Tyre retailers are required by law to make customers aware of a tyre’s ratings for efficiency, wet grip and noise when they buy, yet new research from Apollo Vredestein suggests that only a minority of consumers who purchase replacement tyres know about these ratings. The survey also reveals that an overwhelming majority of buyers would like to use such information to influence their buying decisions.
Last month saw the introduction of a new EU regulation mandating the use of newly designed tyre labels, similar to those found on energy consuming household appliances, that set out the product’s rankings for performance and efficiency. The updated labels, which are expected to be adopted into UK law later in 2021, feature a new five-stage classification system (from A to E) for rolling resistance and wet grip and three classes (A to C) for exterior noise. There are also additional symbols to signify whether the tyre is suitable for snow and / or ice conditions. The inclusion of a new QR code allows consumers to easily access an independent online database of tyre ratings.
Apollo Vredestein’s new survey asked UK motorists about the last time they purchased tyres for their car and identified that an average of only 43% were aware of the tyre’s ratings for efficiency and noise. Awareness of these ratings is even lower among women with 32% of female car owners said they knew about them before they last made a tyre purchase, compared to 52% of men.
Although tyre retailers are required under UK law to explain the efficiency and performance ratings to customers at point of sale, only 26% of UK car owners said the retailer did so before they last purchased replacement tyres.
Importantly, 69% of UK car owners said that being better aware of the efficiency and noise ratings would influence their choice of replacement tyre in future (65% among women; 73% among men). This positivity towards independent ratings is highest among car owners aged between 18 and 24, at 79%.
The Apollo Vredestein survey found that 77% of car owners are not aware that the format of the labels is potentially changing, highlighting the significant need to educate consumers about the availability of important efficiency and performance data. Younger car owners are far more likely to be aware of the proposed changes with 46% of those aged 25 to 34 said they knew about them, compared to just 2% of those aged over 65.
Karl Naylor, UK Country Manager, from Apollo Vredestein said: “These tyre ratings are clearly valued very highly by car owners, yet awareness remains very low. That presents a significant challenge for public authorities and the tyre sector: manufacturers, distributors and retailers alike, to improve education and enable consumers to make informed purchasing decisions. Greater awareness will help consumers select tyres that are better suited to their needs and will help highlight those tyres that have the strongest environmental and safety credentials.
“Given that up to 20% of a passenger car’s CO2 emissions is accounted for by the tyres, enabling customers to make informed choices can make a real difference as the government and public authorities seeks to reduce the environmental impact of road transport.”
If, as is expected, the new EU regulation is echoed in UK law, all tyres will have to be sold with their efficiency rating and product information sheet displayed close to the tyre in a physical retail environment or made clearly visible online. The information will also be available on an online database (the European Product Registry for Energy Labelling or ‘EPREL’). Alongside tyre retailers, car dealerships must inform their customers about the specification of the tyres fitted to new cars prior to sale. The tyre label and product information sheet must also be available in hard-copy for any potential car buyer to take home if they wish.
For more information on the new labels please see video:
About Apollo Vredestein
Apollo Vredestein BV designs, manufactures and sells top-quality tyres for passenger cars, two-wheelers and commercial vans, as well as a range of agricultural and industrial tyres, through its locations in Europe and the USA. Apollo Vredestein is part of Apollo Tyres Ltd, an international tyre major with manufacturing units in India, the Netherlands and Hungary. Apollo Tyres Ltd markets products under its two global brands Apollo and Vredestein. The company’s products are available in over 100 countries through a vast network of branded, exclusive and multi-product outlets.