HiQ tyre labelling world A motorist's guide

External Noise

It's all about the environment

As a tyre rotates on the road it creates noise. When standing by the side of the road, some tyres create more noise than others.

The amount of noise a tyre makes is measured using sound waves, with one wave being the quietest and a tyre rated at three sound waves making the most noise. A decibel rating is also given, the higher the number, the louder the tyre.The external noise rating on a tyre label tells you how a tyre rates in line with future mandatory European legislation. One wave gives the best performance, three is the worst. In fact three waves is the current limit while two meets future legislation limit requirements.

Noise levels

1 wave = quietest
2 waves = +3db or
double the noise
3 waves = +6db or
four times the noise
HiQ's guide to tyre labelling - Noise emissions

Did you know?

If all cars were fitted with low noise emission tyres, it would sound like taking 7 in 10 cars off the road.

If everyone fitted the quietest rated tyres 70% reduction in car traffic noise

Smart cars

How do tyre manufacturers measure the grading?

Tyre manufacturers have some of the most advanced technologies for measuring sound, including a revolutionary laboratory that can test a vast array of interior and exterior noises.

The new tyre label noise ranking is based on an ISO pass-by noise test, where noise is measured as a car passes by two microphones that are positioned 7.5m from the centre line at a height of 1.2m.

Tyre manufacturers are required to comply with the legislation, which means that you have reliable, objective and comparable data to help you chose the right tyre for you.The testing is:

  • Self Certified
  • Using EU-approved methods
  • Enforced by local National Enforcement Authorities