Wed October 6 09:00 am 2021 in category Product news

New EU tire labels help drivers – especially useful for online shoppers

Europe has become the first region in the world to start using an ice grip symbol for tires. A snow grip symbol and QR code leading to a massive database have also been added to the tires. The new symbols help consumers to compare different alternatives and to choose safe tires that reduce emissions. As a winter tire pioneer, Nokian Tyres has long advocated for developing the labels. 

Tire labels are being renewed across the entire EU. New labels are required on tires manufactured after May 1, 2021, so the new labels will start gradually appearing on tires that are offered for sale. 

All-season tires, summer tires, and non-studded winter tires sold within the EU received the first EU tire labels in 2012. This labeling requirement only applied to tires for passenger cars, SUVs, and vans, and the required information has included rolling resistance, wet grip, and external rolling noise. The labels have now changed: the information must also cover grip on snow and ice, and a QR code has been added to the label. The requirements do not apply to studded winter tires. 

The right tires for the right conditions 

The earlier tire labels did not communicate the true characteristics of high-quality winter tires, and to this end, Nokian Tyres has been working for years to develop the labels further. This work is now paying off. 

”In practice, wet grip is the opposite of ice grip: developing one usually reduces the other. Tires designed for Central Europe emphasize the characteristics required on bare roads, whereas the ice grip symbol indicates that the tire genuinely works and remains safe in the challenging Nordic winter conditions. The snow grip symbol, for its part, indicates that the tire meets the EU’s official requirements for grip on snow; this is especially significant in Germany, Italy, and the Nordic countries. We do not recommend using tires designed for Central Europe under conditions that they are not intended for”, says Technical Customer Service Manager Matti Morri from Nokian Tyres. 

“Consumers are ordering more and more products online. It is a significant advantage for them that, going forward, they can check the symbols and order the best possible tires for their own usage conditions. Expert assistance is available at tire retailers – but online, there is no one there to personally assist you with choosing safe tires”, Morri says. 

Massive database of all tires 

The QR code is a new item on the tire label that will guide you to a massive database that accumulates information on all of the tires available on the European market. The product information is standardized, allowing for an easy comparison of the tires. 

”In the future, the tire labels will be expanded further, as they will also report abrasion, or tire wear, and the mileage or the tire’s service life on the road. The decision has already been made but producing the test methods will take years”, says SRA Manager Jarmo Sunnari from Nokian Tyres. 

What does the new tire labels tell drivers? 

  • Rolling resistance refers to fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. Tires in the best category can save 0.6 liters of fuel per 100 km when compared to the lowest category. 

  • Wet grip indicates the braking distance. On wet asphalt, the best tires need nearly 20 meters less to stop when traveling at a speed of 80 km/h than tires in the weakest category. 

  • The external rolling noise value indicates noise levels outside of the vehicle. Using quieter tires will reduce noise pollution in the environment. 

  • The snow grip symbol indicates that the tire meets the official requirements and works reliably on snow. 

  • The ice grip symbol means that the tire has passed the ice grip test and is suited for Nordic winter conditions. The symbol is currently only used on passenger car tires. 

Further information: 

Zuzana Seidl, PR Manager Nokian Tyres CE, 00420 603 578 866,  
[email protected]

Nokian Tyres develops and manufactures premium tires for people who value safety and sustainability. Inspired by our Scandinavian heritage, we craft innovative products for passenger cars, trucks and heavy machinery that give you peace of mind in all driving conditions. Our Vianor chain provides tire and car services. In 2020, the company’s net sales were EUR 1.3 billion and it employed some 4,600 people. Nokian Tyres is listed on Nasdaq Helsinki. Further information: