Tyre Noise Regulations
Are your tyres compliant with the law?
Between March 2010 and October 2011 new regulations for replacement tyres were phased in for drivers in the UK. All new replacement road tyres must now carry an 'S' mark on the sidewall, indicating that they meet EU noise standards.
The regulations are designed to reduce the amount of noise that rolling tyres produce on our roads. Traffic is a major noise pollutant in the UK and Europe. More efficient tyre designs that carry the 'S' mark will help to lower these noise levels.
How do tyre noise regulations impact UK drivers?
They shouldn't! The Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) enforces the new tyre noise legislation on behalf of the government. They do this by inspecting tyres at manufacturers, importers, distributors and tyre fitters. The VCA do not inspect tyres on individual vehicles as part of their enforcement procedure, so by the time the tyres arrive at your local fitter, they will have already been inspected and approved as compliant with the law.
The law applies to replacement tyres only. If you've still got pre-2011 tyres on your vehicle you won't need to take special action to get the new S marked tyres. Just replace them as normal when they are worn.
If you want to check your tyres for the S mark, look on the sidewalls for a string of numbers followed by the letter S. It should look similar in form to this: 0223345 - S. The numbers will be preceded by the designation E4 in a square box or circle.
More changes to come!
Further EU legislation on tyre labelling is likely to come into effect by the end of 2012. By next year all replacement tyres will carry a graphic indicating their external noise emission in decibels. Watch this space for updates.