What is tyre rolling resistance?

Since the introduction of EU tyre labelling regulations, rolling resistance has become an important consideration when selecting tyres.

But what is rolling resistance and how does it affect your tyres’ performance? Here’s everything you need to know.

EU tyre labelling regulations

All tyres have EU tyre labels, which provide important performance and environmental information. These labels contain:

  • A fuel efficiency rating
  • Wet weather performance rating
  • External noise rating and value in decibels

Tyre rolling resistance has an impact on all these things. And the best low rolling resistance tyres can pay for themselves in improved fuel efficiency and running cost savings over time.

What is rolling resistance?

Tyres are the only points of contact between your vehicle and the road. To provide good steering and safety, they must be able to grip the road surface well.

At the same time, rolling resistance is a measure of how much the tyre resists the forward momentum of your car.

There are many causes of this, including:

  • Friction between the tyre and the road surface
  • Friction in the moving parts of your vehicle
  • Energy lost as the tyre rubber changes shape
  • Deformation of the ground surface (e.g. driving on soil or mud)
  • Greater friction on rough/dirty road surfaces

In essence, the more rolling resistance your tyres produce, the more energy you will need to maintain a steady speed. This leads to lower fuel efficiency, higher running costs and increased CO2 emissions on combustion engine vehicles.

Maintaining low-resistance tyres

If you’ve got low rolling resistance tyres, you’ll want to maximise their efficiency. Here are a few tips to help:

  • Rotate your tyres periodically (e.g. swap the front and rear tyres) so they wear down evenly over time.
  • Consider investing in a matching spare tyre and/or run flat tyre in case of emergencies.
  • Even if you don’t specifically want low rolling resistance, check the tyre labelling information for a handy guide to fuel efficiency and braking performance in the wet.

Buying low rolling resistance tyres

Here at Halfords, we stock a wide collection of tyres from the best brands.

All of our tyres are displayed with the EU label so you can see how the tyre performs for fuel efficiency, its wet weather rating, and its noise rating.

We also have a handy vehicle registration number tool that will help you find the right tyres for your car.

Explore our full range of tyres

Tyre fitting service

We want to make the process of buying new tyres as easy as possible, and that’s why we offer both an Autocentre-based and mobile tyre fitting service.

Through our mobile tyre fitting service, one of our trained technicians will come and fit your new tyres either at your home or workplace. The service is available 7 days a week, meaning you can pick a time that is convenient for you!

Book your mobile tyre fitting service

Alternatively, why not get your tyres fitted at one of our Autocentres? We have over 300 Autocentres nationwide and you can find your nearest Autocentre here.

For more tyre advice, head over to our help and advice guides. You can discover our full range of tyres and fitting services over at Halfords.com.

Same day tyre fitting

Did you know that we now offer same day tyre fitting service across our garages nationwide? Simply book online before 1pm and we can replace your tyres the same day to help you get you back on the road safely and swiftly. Please note that availability varies by location. For more information, please head on over to our dedicated same day tyre fitting page where you can find answers to frequently asked questions, choose the right tyres for your vehicle and book your appointment.

Book same day tyre fitting