Tyre Checks – Motorists’ concern about NCT and ‘E’ markings


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The AA has received a large number of enquiries from anxious motorists about the new legal requirements to have an e marked tyre.  With effect from the 1st of April 2010; tyres must display a European standard (E or e marking) for vehicles to pass a NCT test.


This is a strict new requirement and it is not going to change. It does not affect most motorists, but for those with non-standard tyres they simply must be exchanged. Reputable tyre dealers should only ever supply ‘e’ marked tyres; this has been law since 1997. Nevertheless numbers of non-European and non-compliant tyres have been sold to Irish motorists.


The AA would like to reassure motorists that the vast majority of cars nationwide will already have an e marked tyre.  The AA outlines some of the most common FAQ’s received. Conor Faughnan replies to some questions from Members received by AA Public Affairs: (contact AA public affairs by email:publicaffairs@aaireland.ie)


“If you bought non-standard tyres then you simply must change them.” Says Conor. “That may cost money, but it is important for safety. Whether or not you can be refunded or can exchange a non-standard tyre that you bought is between you and the vendor.”


Irish garages and tyre suppliers should never have been permitted to supply non-standard tyres. Most do not, but some non-affiliated and some less reputable outlets have been bringing them in. It is unfair on innocent consumers to be hit with extra cost because of this.” Says Faughnan.


If your car is attended to by an AA Patrol, ask for your tyres to be checked and ask about Tyre Assist.


Tyre FAQs received by AA since 1st April:


How can I tell if my tyre is e marked?


The E marking is visible as an ‘E’ or ‘e’ on the wall of the tyre in a circle or a rectangle shape, it may also be followed by a number of digits. These markings on some tyres may only be visible on the inside wall of the tyre, as a result when checking for compatibly both inside and outside of the tyre should be checked.


Why this change is being implemented?


E marked tyres have been sold in Ireland for many years and have been an EU legal requirement for the sale of tyres in Europe since 1997. Ireland is the last member state to enforce this requirement. An e-mark confirms that the tyre meets the minimum agreed standard in relation to its dimensions, load and speed rating and will make a significant contribution to road safety.


What do I do if my tyre is not e marked?


Don’t panic. If a vehicle has failed its NCT as a result of not displaying e-marking on its tyres, the retest is free as it will only require a visual inspection.


The AA advises Motorists to check the following on a regular basis.


  • Tyre pressure
  • Thread dept
  • Un-even wear
  • Wall damage
  • Bulges and cuts
  • Age deterioration


How much it will cost to replace a tyre?


The cost of replacing tyres will vary from type and model of tyre. When purchasing tyres, the AA recommends tyres are purchased from a reliable source who offers a full range of models and types. The sample prices outlined below are supplied by a nation wide supplier using a Ford Focus 1.4, 2002 model with standard steel wheels.


Average Cost of per tyre;


  • Continental €109.59
  • Barum €94.64
  • Sportiva €91.65


The nationwide tyre supplier surveyed by AA Ireland confirmed they are happy to check tyres for the E Mark free of charge.