Non emarked tyres in the UK market.

Recently there has been a large amount of discussion on blogs and forums about non European tyres being imported into the UK and sold as UK specific tyres. With the help of Goodyear Dunlop UK and we have written the following to try and help steer you in the right direction when buying replacement tyres.

Non E Marked tyres should never be fitted for road use in the UK market

This is without question the number one factor to consider. If a tyre garage fits tyres without an "E" mark on the sidewall they can be taken to court. Tyres without E marks have not been designed with the demanding European conditions in mind and could fail under standard use.

Some companies are importing "exchange rate friendly" E Marked tyres not designed for the western European climate

This is where things get a little more complex. Tyre companies, like most major suppliers have factories around the world and are constantly revising their tyre models. Goodyear for example make E marked tyres for the UK market in factories in numerous factories around the world and officially import them via their own dealer network. Many reputable wholesalers also import and sell these tyres that will have been sourced through a manufacturer's European company.

What complexes matters is that most tyre manufacturers also make E marked tyres for other climates in these factories which they don't choose to import into the UK. Unofficial tyre dealers then import these "E marked, but not intended for the UK" as they benefit from a lower buying price due to the strength of the pound.

How do I make sure I get the right tyre?

Unfortunately, while there is a polluted supply of various brands to the UK there is no guarantee of getting the right rubber, there are however a number of common sense steps you can take to try and eliminate incorrect tyres / dealers.

  • Find out if the network / independent dealer is approved by the tyre brand
  • Ask your tyre garage if they sourced the tyre from the European dealer of that tyre brand (ie Goodyear Dunlop Europe)
  • Check the sidewalls yourself and refuse any tyre without an E mark. (Sidewall Markings - The letter F shows you a box or a circle and inside this is an E with a number eg E13 or E5. Outside that box or circle should be a further number. The number outside the box or circle is the E mark. If your tyre does not have the number after the E13 / E5 then the tyre is not E marked)
  • Shop with dealers who are registered with the National Tyre Distributors Association, who put certain quality and trading standards in place with independent dealers.

This problem is a small but growing issue. All the major tyre brands are fighting to eradicate this problem as tyres being used outside of their original design specification has serious safety and performance consequences. If you believe you might have non E Marked tyres please either contract the brand directly with details of where you purchased them from or let us know and we'll pass the information on to the relevant contact.

Feel free to post any comments detailing your experiences below. Tyrereviews would like to extend it's thanks to Goodyear Dunlop for providing us with information.


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There are various forum threads about Goodyear Eagle F1 dodgy batches if you do a search.

It seems that the German made ones are fine & get good reviews, whereas there are chinese ones of different construction but being sold as the same. Then there are ones made in Thailand which are not even legal in the UK!

Not good & best avoided I.M.O.
Posted at 2007-06-13 23:03:51 | Was this comment helpful? Please login to vote

It's probably worth pointing out that some brands only put the E Mark on one side of the tyre so be sure to check both sides before running back to the garage!

Not that I'm speaking from experience... :)
Posted at 2007-06-11 22:54:40 | Was this comment helpful? Please login to vote
Interesting post, thanks.

I generally get all my tyre from black circles who only supply european tyres (or so they say :))
Posted at 2007-06-06 14:46:40 | Was this comment helpful? Please login to vote[timestamp]&rtu=-1