Replacement tyres are often a distress purchase: 17% of MOT test failures are tyre-related. As a result, consumers commonly favour price and short-term expediency over longer term considerations such as tyre wear or environmental impact.
Labelling has been relatively effective as a means of influencing consumer behaviour in the purchase of domestic appliances. According to data from the Association of Home Appliance Producers in Europe, European sales of washing machines with the highest energy efficiency rating have grown over the last decade from 2% to 68% of all purchases. However, six years after the introduction of tyre labelling, industry research shows that no such trend can be discerned: the most popular tyre grade combination remains unchanged. Source ETRMA.
In the context of replacement tyre sales, the customer rarely sees the tyre or its label before it is fitted. Furthermore, the principal focus of both consumer and retailer is generally on economic considerations, not environmental outcomes.
- Measures are needed to improve the impact of consumer information and to recognise the higher externalities of tyres with lower environmental performance.