Your Tyre Ratings Explained

When you look at your tyres, do you see unfamiliar numbers that you can’t quite get your head around? Well, those numbers are actually very important, and you need to understand exactly what they mean. Fortunately, Havant MOT and Service Centre have created an easy to understand guide explaining your tyre ratings.

What are the numbers on my tyre?

There are several distinct sections on your tyre, each forming a larger number. From left to right, they show the width of your tyre, the aspect ratio of your tyre (height of the sidewall), the radial nature of your tyre (as most modern tyres are), the tyre diameter, the load index (the maximum weight the tyre can carry) and finally the speed rating.

All these sections work together to help you understand what tyres you need during your next tyre fitting appointment. But why is that the case?

Why are my tyre ratings important?

Choosing the wrong tyre can leave you at risk of a blowout which, quite obviously, is highly dangerous. Ensuring you fit tyres with the correct markings is one of the most important aspects of a tyre fitting appointment. Choosing the wrong tyre affects your safety and consistency, so it’s important to choose the right ones every time.

Naturally, the other ratings are important as well. Fitting a tyre that’s too small or too big will hamper you when driving as it won’t sit on the rim correctly. Yet, it’s the speed rating that’s most important, so here’s a comprehensive table to show you what tyre you should choose.

Comprehensive speed rating table

The speed rating is the maximum speed the tyre is capable of. A car with a top speed of 90 needs a very different tyre compound to a supercar which can reach 200mph. Here’s a comprehensive table with the maximum speed for each letter:

Tyre Speed Rating MPH KPH Tyre Speed Rating MPH KPH
N 87 140 U 124 200
P 93 150 H 130 210
Q 99 160 V 149 240
R 106 170 Z 150+ 240+
S 112 180 W 168 270
T 118 190 Y 186 300

There you go, your tyre ratings explained. We understand that they are highly confusing and it’s only through experience that you become comfortable with what they actually mean. When you need new tyres, it’s always best to consult with a professional garage before making a purchase so, if you need tyre fitting in the Portsmouth area, book online with Havant MOT and Service Centre today!

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