UK Tyre Law
Tyres are the only part of the vehicle which are in contact with the road. Safety in acceleration, braking, steering and cornering all depend on a relatively small area of road contact. It is therefore of paramount importance that tyres are well maintained and that their tyre tread depth is above the legal limit to maximise performance and safety.
By law, car tyres must have a minimum of 1.6mm of tread in a continuous band throughout the central three-quarters of the tread width and round the entire circumference of the tyre. The driver of the vehicle is responsible for making sure their tyres are legal and in a roadworthy condition.
The penalty for driving with an illegal tyre is a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points per tyre. This could cost your licence, or worse still a life.
We have the latest training and products to ensure that your Mercedes-Benz or smart is only fitted with the correct tyres for its specification.
We offer expert installation.
• Your stopping distance will increase by 33%
• Your tyres are 78% worn
• Your tyres have only 1.4mm of legal tread
What does the writing on my Tyre mean?
Tyre Marking guide
There are two main purposes of the writing on the sidewall of tyres.
The first is to help identify the size and specification of the tyres correctly. The second is to confirm that the tyre has been tested and approved to European and other country safety standards. The European mandatory is known as 'E' marking.
Consult your vehicle handbook, which will confirm your vehicles tyre speed and load ratings as well as any additional requirements.
Load Index and Speed Ratings
The majority of tyres carry coded markings on them, which correspond to their load carrying and maximum speed capabilities.
Speed Ratings are based on scientific tests where the tyre is run at speeds in 6.2 mph steps in 10 minute increments until the required speed has been met.
The Speed Rating is particularly important and it is essential that you check your speed rating before buying tyres. Choosing a tyre with a lower speed rating could invalidate your insurance.
For example: 95W
95= Index of maximum load carrying capacity per tyre, in this case equates to 690kg.
W= Symbol which equates to a speed rating of 270km/h (approximately 168mph)
The load index is a numerical code, which corresponds to the maximum load a tyre can carry at the speed indicated by its speed symbol, under specific service conditions. For specific load index details see below.
Load Index Kilograms Load Index Kilograms 80 450 95 690 81 462 96 710 82 475 97 730 83 487 98 750 84 500 99 775 85 515 100 800 86 530 101 825 87 545 102 850 88 560 103 875 89 580 104 900 90 600 105 925 91 615 106 950 92 630 107 975 93 650 108 975 94 670
The speed symbol indicates the speed at which the tyre can carry the load corresponding with its load index. For specific speed rating details see below.
Speed Symbol Approx MPH Approx KM/H Q 99 160 R 106 170 S 112 180 T 118 190 H 131 210 V 149 240 VR 131 210 W 168 270 Y 186 300 ZR 149 240
EU Tyre Labelling
The label is similar to labels already being used for white goods such as fridges, freezers and washing machines. The EU Tyre label will inform you about 3 key performance criteria of the tyre:
• Fuel efficiency
• Wet grip
• External rolling noise
(or rolling resistance) – Graded A to G.
A = Most efficient and G = Least efficient. (D not used)
(or braking performance on a wet road) – Graded A to G
A = shortest braking distance and G = longest braking distance. (D and G not used)
EXTERNAL ROLLING NOISE
measured in decibels (dB) – Tyre categorised in 3 classes illustrated by 3 waves. 1 wave = quieter tyre to 3 waves = louder tyre (when comparing identical section widths).
Breakdown of the Label
Fuel Efficiency / Rolling Resistance
A rolling tyre deforms and dissipates energy. The energy that’s lost is known as rolling resistance and directly impacts on fuel consumption and the environment.
With lower rolling resistance, the tyre uses less energy, less fuel and in turn, less CO2.
Wet Grip / Braking Performance
Tyres with excellent wet grip have shorter braking distances on slippery roads, essential for keeping you safe in the rain.
These ratings are measured from the distance travelled by a car after braking at 50mph in the wet.* 30% shorter braking distance between best and worst class for a full set of tyres fitted to an average car.
Did You Know?
The difference between A and G is 18 metres, That’s four car lengths or eight smart cars.
Noise Emission / Exterior Noise
A tyre’s exterior noise grading is expressed in decibels (dB) and accompanied by one, two or three sound waves on the label.
One wave is the best performance, three is the worst. ln fact, three bars is the current limit, while two meets future laws and one is a further 3dBs below.