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Is UTQG a reliable source of information when choosing new tyres?

You may well have already seen the UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading) marking displayed on your tyres. This standard grades tyre performance based on three criteria: treadwear, traction and temperature. It's mandatory for the US market and optional elsewhere, but is it useful for choosing new tyres? We give you the details...
utqg-marking-sidewall

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Interpreting UTQG standards

UTQG (Uniform Tire Quality Grading) is a mandatory label for selling tyres in the United States. It was put in place by the American government with the aim of providing consumers with information on tyre performance prior to purchase. The UTQG system assesses tyres based on three criteria:

Treadwear

Tyre wear is graded on a scale from 60 - 700: in theory the higher the score the longer the tyre's lifespan. A tyre with a treadwear score of 100 will theoretically wear twice as quickly as a tyre with a score of 200.

Traction

This is the tyre's ability to stop on a wet surface when travelling in a straight line. Scores range from AA (best) to C (minimum admissible value for sale on the American market).

Temperature

The tyre's resistance to heating is graded from AA to C according to the tyre's ability to dissipate heat and resist its effects.

UTQG marking on a tyre sidewall

Copyright © Cooper

Is UTQG helpful when buying new tyres?

This standard is not a catch-all solution for choosing new tyres. It has two main drawbacks:

  • These three criteria alone are not enough to accurately assess a tyre's performance. Dry grip, cornering, aquaplaning and the tyre’s ability to absorb road surface irregularities are not taken into consideration.
  • The UTQG criteria are assessed by the tyre manufacturers themselves.  Manufacturers test their own products then interpret and communicate the results. Therefore, the UTQG scoring cannot be used to make a reliable comparison between two products from different manufacturers. It is only useful when comparing two tyres from the same brand.

Conclusion

Although UTQG is worth a look, it is not as useful as the European tyre label for choosing new tyres.

rezulteo recommends:

The best way to get an accurate picture of a tyre's performance is to look at the results of independent tests conducted by motoring magazines and clubs.

Here at rezulteo, we compile all the available data from these tests to produce clear, comprehensive and transparent ratings for each tyre which we publish on our comparison site. 

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