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Understanding your tyres

Tyre size can be found on the sidewall of a tyre and appears as a combination of numbers and letters. Knowing what each section of these numbers and letters mean will make it very easy to find your car's tyre size. The below image shows a tyre with a mixture of numbers and letters: 205 55 R16 91W.


tyre_size 

To explain the tyre size further we have broken each section down, explaining what each number and letter means.


sidewall_marking

Tyre load rating


The tyre load rating indicates the maximum weight each tyre is able to carry.


If a tyre with an incorrect load capacity is fitted to your car your insurance policy can become void in certain cases. It is therefore vital to check your car is fitted with a tyre with the correct load rating.


The load rating of a tyre is usually found after the diameter reading and before the speed rating on the sidewall marking.

 


The table below shows the weight capacity in kilograms of each load rating.



Tyre speed rating


The speed rating of a tyre is indicated by a letter at the end of the tyre size on the sidewall of the tyre, and specifies the maximum speed your tyre is capable of maintaining.


For example a tyre with a speed rating of "W" can reach speeds of up to 168mph.


The load rating of a tyre is usually found after the diameter reading and before the speed rating on the sidewall marking.

 


A tyre's speed rating is the result of specific tests ran by engineers. These involve running the tyre at 6.2mph steps in ten minute increments until the required speed has been met.


If your car is fitted with a tyre with a lower speed rating than is appropriate for your vehicle you could invalidate your insurance policy, therefore it is essential you check your car's speed rating before purchasing new tyres.


The table below shows the maximum speed in mph of each speed rating.


sidewall_marking