What is tyre speed rating?

Monday 7th March 2022

how old are my tyres

Tyre speed ratings inform you of the maximum speed your tyre is legally approved - this measurement ensures your tyre is safe and appropriate for your car. The tyre speed rating indicates the safest top speed your vehicle can travel at - however, this can differ depending on weight variance.

Why is tyre speed rating important?

If the tyre speed rating is too low for the weight of your car it will be unable to cope with the pressure of high speeds. This would impact the tyre by affecting your tyre's performance and could even cause you to lose control of your vehicle. Tyre speed rating also affects:

  • Traction
  • Treadwear
  • Cornering ability
  • Ride comfort

Tyres with higher speed ratings will provide drivers with better stopping distances and grip on the road.

Where can I find the speed tyre rating?

The tyre speed rating will be located on your tyre's sidewall. You may see a long tyre code on the edge of your tyre, and the final letter in this assortment is your tyres speed rating. When looking at your tyre speed rating, it is also important to look at the load rating – as your speed rating will depend on driving with the right load.

Tyre speed rating chart

Tyre speed ratings are categorised by letters of the alphabet - each letter represents a different tip speed. The table below shows the maximum speed for each rating:

Speed Rating Max Speed (Mph) Max Speed (Kph)
Q 99 160
R 106 170
S 112 180
T 118 190
U 124 200
H 130 210
V 149 240
W 168 270
Y 186 300

What does ZR mean on a tyre?

The letters ZR on the tyre refers to the speed rating - in this case, it means your tyre should not be driven in excess of 150mph.

Can I mix tyres with speed ratings?

It is not recommended that you mix tyres with different speed ratings. For safest driving, ensure that all of your tyres are the same speed rating on each wheel.

Can I fit tyres with a higher speed rating than I need?

It is not against the law to fit tyres with a higher speed rating on your car - however, do ensure these tyres are compliant with legal requirements.

If you need tyres, pop down to a Formula One Autocentre near you! Or, for more information contact our expert team.

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