The labelling aims to help consumers select tyres according to three criteria – Fuel Efficiency (rolling resistance), Wet Grip and External rolling noise to improve the safety, environmental and economic efficiency of road transport.

Michelin, which claimed its new Agilis+ tyre also excels on dry roads and for longevity – categories not included in the labeling scheme, has affixed a sticker meeting European requirements to all car and van tyres since 1 July.

The Agilis+ is rated C (on a grade of A-G) for fuel economy, B for wet braking and it emits 70dB of pass-by noise, two dB less than the future noise limit for vans to be adopted in 2016. It is available as a 14-inch and 16-inch tyre.

Michelin said the Agilis+ would save 270 litres of fuel over 60,000km (37,282 miles) compared with a tyre only meeting the minimum performance level and would cut braking distance by 17 metres on wet surfaces. The tyre features reinforced sidewalls to protect against the kerb damage that vans are prone to.

The tyre labeling scheme will be reviewed in 2015 and Michelin is pressing for it to be expanded to include longevity and performance in dry conditions, which is when, it claimed, 70% off accidents occur. It also recommended that tyres should be axle-fitted all round the vehicle so that tyres of differing quality are not fitted to, for example, each rear wheel. This is a legal requirement in some European countries but not in the UK.