Tyre Speed Ratings: What You Need To Know

Keeping your car in roadworthy condition is achieved through regular vehicle servicing, and car tyre speed ratings are an important factor. This is the index used to determine the legal maximum tyre speed carefully selected by manufacturers to match the performance of your vehicle.

Once you know your rating, you can work out the speed that your tyre is capable of handling with ease. The sidewall of a general tyre is imprinted with codes and numbers that identify the features and size of said tyre. Many of these markings are of minor importance to the driver, while the tyre speed rating is essential when it comes to choosing a replacement tyre. As an expert MOT garage, we provide further insight…

tyre speed ratings

How do speed ratings work?

Based on scientific tests, speed ratings focus on where the tyre runs at speeds. You should not exceed the speed rating and where possible, tyres of different speed ratings should not be fitted.

The modern speed rating system uses letters from A-Z, with each letter relating to a specific speed. Generally, a tyre rated ‘L’ is designed for a lower maximum than one rated ‘P’.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the various types of vehicle available, and whether you have a family saloon, a 4×4 or a modern sports model, all require specific tyres to suit the capacity of the car.

Remember: Speed ratings do not suggest that the vehicle may be driven safely at the maximum speed, especially under bad weather or road conditions. It is not permitted to drive at speeds higher than your rating, as this can lead to serious accidents.

Which tyre speed rating should I use?

There are various ratings which cover maximum speeds. The rating is standard on the majority of family cars, as due to modern engine technology, most 1.5 – 2.0 litre cars are capable of speeds above 110 mph.

Speed rating is easy to find as it’s usually the last item in the character sequence in the tyre’s sizing code. It is vital that you check your speed rating before buying replacement tyres, as choosing a tyre with a lower rating than needed for your car can invalidate your insurance.

Tyres with lower speed ratings are usually listed as ‘A’ followed by a number e.g. A1, but for the purpose of the chart created, we have included the most common speed tyre ratings. Here, you can check your current tyres and work out your maximum speed rating.

tyre speed rating chart

Contact Exminster Garage

Tyres may not be the first thing you consider when it comes to vehicle safety, but the contact between the tyres and the road surface is extremely important. If you think there may be issues with your tyres after checking the speed rating, at Exminster Garage, we can carry out regular checks to ensure that your tyres meet the recommended safety regulations. Our cost-effective services promise the right tyre for your vehicle.

Call us on 01392 952 896, or alternatively….

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