Jul 19, 2019
Have you ever looked at your tyres and wondered what all those numbers and symbols mean? It’s confusing we know, but they are actually important information about your tyres.
This blog is going to give you the need to know about tyre speed rating, which is the maximum speed a tyre is legally approved for. You can find it at the end of your tyre’s size, always represented by a letter, followed by a number
By being aware of your tyres’ speed rating you will be able to find the maximum speed your tyre can maintain safely. The difference in one letter equals to as much as a 10km/h difference in tyre speed rating.
Letter, Speed (MPH), Speed (KPH)
· N 87 140
· P 93 150
· Q 99 160
· R 106 170
· S 112 180
· T 118 190
· U 124 200
· H 130 210
· V 149 240
· Z 150+ 240+
· W 168 270
· Y 186 300
High-performance cars such as Ferrari's sometimes have Z-rated tyres, however, these are very specialist. When you’re driving at a higher speed, wheels will be turning faster, meaning there is more heat generated. When shopping for tyres, it’s important to choose a tyre that can cope with the extra heat. If you’re driving at a high speed with a low-speed tyre rating, you risk the tyres failing.
Nowadays on more modern car models, you will find that the tyre rating doesn’t reflect the actual speed that the vehicle is capable of. For example, most family cars will have a tyre speed rating that is higher than the car’s maximum speed.
This is partly due to the current fashion of alloy wheels with low-profile tyres has resulted in manufacturers choosing tyres for their aesthetics, so higher performance tyres are fitted. But, it is also to make sure that the performance of the tyre always exceeds the performance of the car. With a higher tyre speed rating, they will be able to cope with loads imposed by acceleration, high-speed cornering and heavy braking.
When it comes to changing your tyre, you can fit new ones with a higher speed rating than your original tyres. Do not fit tyres with a lower speed rating than the manufacturers original fit, as you don’t want to void your insurance! Need new tyres and not sure of your current tyre rating? Get quotes from our local garages today!