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Tyre Noise Regulation - Frequently Asked Questions

 

  1. What does the new legislation mean?
  2. Why has this new legislation been created?
  3. How will this new legislation be enforced?
  4. How does this new legislation affect me?
  5. Will this affect the cost of tyres?
  6. How can I check if my tyres are compliant?
  7. Do I need to change my current tyres if they do not comply?
  8. Will my car fail its MOT if the tyres do not have an “S” marking?
  9. What about tyres with a width of over 185mm, are they effected?
  10. What should I do if the tyres I purchase do not have the “S” marking?

What does the new legislation mean?

In a nutshell, from the 23rd of March 2010 tyre retailers will not be able to sell tyres (with a width of 185mm and under) that do not comply with the “S Marking Regulation”. In order to comply, the tyres must not exceed the newly set noise limits and bear the appropriate approval markings. (I.e. the “S” marking).

Why has this new legislation been created?

Recent estimates have suggested that roughly 80 million people within the European Union (and that’s not including the new member states) are exposed to very high noise levels.  Of the many sources of noise, road traffic noise is by far the most common. 

In Great Britain it is reported that over 90% of the population hear traffic noise whilst in their own home and around 10% consider this to be extremely aggravating.

There is also a threat to the health and wellbeing of people who are constantly bombarded with high noise levels. These can include:

• Disruption to learning and understanding (especially in children)
• An increase to blood pressure which in turn can lead to heart conditions
• Adverse effects on mental health

Through reduced noise levels it is believed that the number of health problems will decline, with a corresponding drop in medical costs. People will be more productive at work and take less sick leave. It is also believed children will learn better at school thanks to fewer distractions caused by noise.

How will this new legislation be enforced?

The regulations will be enforced by checks on tyre sidewall markings at tyre importers, distributors and retailers.

How does this new legislation affect me?

Hopefully the only effect that these new laws will have on you will be positive - once all the older nosier tyres are phased out, the roads will be quieter and what noise there is, will not be as invasive when you are at home enjoying your free time.

 Will this affect the cost of tyres?

This will not affect the cost of tyres. Out of the many possible ways that were discussed when the experts were trying to come up with ways to reduce the noise created by tyres, (i.e. construction of noise barriers, redesign of tyres, etc) the current plan was the most cost-effective and as such will not cost the manufacturers extra money to produce.

How can I check if my tyres are compliant?

When buying new tyres from the 23rd March 2010 (and if your tyre width is 185mm or under) you can check whether or not that they meet with the new regulations by looking for a “S” on the tyre sidewall. The “S” proves that these tyres meet all the necessary requirements set out by the directive.

Do I need to change my current tyres if they do not comply?

No. Only when it comes time to buy a new set of tyres will you have to ensure that the tyres that you receive from the retailer are compliant with the new laws.

Will my car fail its MOT if the tyres do not have an “S” marking?

No, you will not fail your MOT if you have tyres without the “S” marking fitted to your vehicle.

What about tyres with a width of over 185mm, are they effected?

There are two more stages of this directive to take place over the next 18 months. From October 2010 tyres with a width up to and including 215mm must comply and then from October 2011 all tyres must comply.

What should I do if the tyres I purchase do not have the “S” marking?

We have taken every measure to ensure that from the 23rd of March 2010 that the tyres that we send out via our suppliers will be compliant with the new legislation. If you, however, receive tyres that do not have a “S” marking on the sidewall after this date, please get in touch with our operations team (0845 620 2000 option #2) immediately so that we can rectify the issue with the supplier immediately.

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