EU tyre labelling - Only 8% of drivers are aware of the three labelling criteria

Only 8% of drivers are aware of the three labelling criteria

EU tyre labelling Published the 19/11/2013 by Peter

Tyre labelling is now mandatory in Europe, but have European consumers fully integrated this new labelling system when buying tyres? In partnership with Ipsos, the new Rezulteo survey shows that consumers are more familiar with labelling than before, but it is still not a decisive purchasing criterion since they prefer to give priority to the price of tyres and advice from sales specialists.

Labelling survey 2013 The tyre performance label: Still not a decisive purchasing criterion! - Copyright © : rezulteo

It is now one year since labelling became mandatory for tyres on sale in European Union countries. One month before tyre labelling came into force, Rezulteo launched a survey to analyse the level of awareness among European consumers with regards this measure. At that time, 80% of respondents were unaware of this legislation, but 80% of them thought that it was a good idea.

But where do we stand today, one year after the introduction of tyre labelling? To find out, Rezulteo has conducted a new survey to analyse the purchasing awareness and behaviour of European consumers with regards tyres. The survey was conducted a few weeks ago among Italian, French, German, Spanish and British drivers, who they themselves maintain their car.

This study shows contrasting results: Certainly, more consumers are aware of tyre labelling, but still only a very few use labelling when buying tyres. This is particularly noticeable with German and British drivers. In must cases, the consumer first relies on advice from the retailer and looks at the price of tyres. Analysing the tyre label is much less important for the consumer.

Twelve months after the introduction of tyre labelling in Europe, it appears that consumers are still not well informed. Work still remains to be done to raise awareness among consumers of the obvious importance of these labelling parameters, whether in terms of environmental protection (consumption) or safety. This is especially true at a time where the commercial offering from tyre manufacturers is bigger than ever.


8 key figures from the survey

> Understanding and assimilating the label

1. More European consumers are familiar with it...

36% of respondents have already heard about this mandatory regulation, up from 22% one year ago. Note that British consumers are the least aware of all respondents, possibly due to a particularly passive behaviour when it comes to maintaining their vehicle. Logically, people who recently bought tyres are more aware (46%) of labelling and 52% of them only discovered this regulation when buying their tyres.

2. … and understand the interest of it …

72% of respondents say that they agree with tyre labelling. Note that from one country to another, they are more or less convinced: This percentage reaches 87% in Italy and 83% in Spain. The Germans and British are less receptive (56%), the French are even less so.

3. … but are not aware of the details

8% of respondents know what the three tyre labelling criteria are. They can easily quote two of these criteria (wet braking and rolling resistance). But it is much more complicated for the third labelling criteria, external rolling noise. Instead, they imagine dry braking, the level of wet grip or tyre longevity. On the whole, with 21% of correct answers for this third criterion, this is far better than the 13% in 2012. Note that Germans are the most aware.

4. Wet braking, the most important point

85% of respondents consider that wet braking is the most important parameter in these labelling measures. Rolling resistance (13%) is next then external rolling noise (3%). And if consumers were to add a fourth criterion to be displayed on the label, then for 67% of them, it would be tyre longevity.


> Impact of tyre labelling on purchasing behaviour

5. New buyers are starting to take a closer look…

38% of consumers that recently bought tyres have shown an interest. For 11% of them, it was even considered to be an important parameter (for the remaining 27%, less so). But among these people, results vary from one nationality to another. The Spanish are most attentive (50%), ahead of the Italians (48%), then the French (33%), the Germans (32%) and the British (26%).  

6. … and find labelling clear and easy to understand 

73% of these buyers (87% in France) did not need to ask specialists how to interpret these criteria. They find labelling sufficiently clear to interpret it on their own.

7. … but price is still the most important element 

56% of recent consumers who have looked at this labelling preferred to start by setting a ballpark figure for the purchase price. They only took labelling information into consideration once they had determined the price they wanted to pay for their tyres. Their behaviour is contradictory since even if safety is placed as the first purchasing criteria (51%) ahead of price (23%), consumers tend to weigh up which tyre is the best value for money when it comes down to buying them. Most of them are not ready to pay the higher price to get the best possible level of safety.

8. … and prefer to listen to the retailer

80% of recent buyers who had not decided what tyres they would buy before entering the store asked the retailer for advice. And for 97% of them, they followed the retailer’s advice. When buying tyres, the retailer has the most influence over European consumers. This is particularly true in Spain where 87% of buyers asked the retailer for advice.


The study was conducted by the Ipsos Institute between 23rd September and 8th October 2013 among a representative sample of 3 402 respondents in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, on a population aged 18 and over and in charge of the maintenance of at least one vehicle in the household.

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>> View the survey results in the form of graphics