How to understand tyre speed ratings

Author Name – Jack Underwood

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When you are looking to purchase new tyres for your vehicle, whether you be in the market for budget, mid-range or premium tyres, it is important that you know how to read your tyres correctly. In this article, we will be explaining how you can figure out the correct tyre speed rating for your tyres.

speed ratings

What is a tyre speed rating?

Ensuring your tyres have the correct speed rating is vitally important. The speed rating of a tyre is an indication of the top speed that the tyre can withstand. Both for legal and safety reasons, you need to make sure that you have the correct tyres to fit your vehicle.

The table below indicates the maximum speeds that can be travelled for specific tyre speed ratings. These tyre speed ratings are decided by a host of comprehensive tests carried out by vehicle manufacturers. If you are found to be driving with tyres below the required speed rating, your car insurance can be invalidated. 





A1 5 3 K 110 68
A2 10 6 L 120 75
A3 15 9 M 130 81
A4 20 12 N 140 87
A5 25 16 P 150 87
A6 30 19 Q 160 100
A7 35 22 R 170 106
A8 40 25 S 180 112
B 50 31 T 190 118
C 60 37 U 200 124
D 65 40 H 210 130
E 70 43 V 240 149
F 80 50 W 270 168
G 90 56 Y 300 186
J 100 62 (Y) 300+ 186+

Where can I find out my tyre speed rating?

You can easily find out the tyre speed rating by looking at the tyre markings on the existing tyres. For example, if you look at the image below. The tyre size is 205/55 R16 96W. The tyre speed rating will always be shown after the wheel size information, in the example below the Speed Rating is 'W'.

tyre size table

If you are wanting to search for the correct tyres for your vehicle online, then you can pick the correct speed rating using the search widget on our homepage. On the tyre search results page, you can use the filters to ensure you select the correct tyre size.

What tyre speed rating is correct for my vehicle?

If you are wanting to find the correct tyre speed rating for your vehicle, then check your vehicle handbook to make sure. Using the image above, you are now able to know how to read the tyre speed rating from the tyre sidewall.

Can you fit a higher speed rating than required?

Yes. You are fine to fit tyres of a higher speed rating than required, however, it is important that you do not get a tyre with a lesser speed rating. Please note, we would recommend having tyres with the same speed rating across the same axles.

Does tyre speed rating matter?

Yes. It is vitally important that you purchase tyres with the correct tyre speed rating for your vehicle. It is not recommended to fit any tyre with a lower speed rating than was fitted as OE (original equipment) when the vehicle was produced.

Buy new tyres online

At National, we offer a wide range of tyres to suit any budget. If you are looking for a budget tyre for either your car or van, then we offer excellent Autogreen budget tyres. Alternatively, if you are looking to fit your vehicle with mid-range tyres, then why not try out Avon Tyres? If you are wanting to fit premium tyres onto your vehicle, then we stock premium tyres from a number of world-renowned tyre brands such as Pirelli and Continental

To order new tyres, to be fitted at a branch local to you, then please click on the link below and purchase online.

Buy Now

If you have any questions, then feel free to either give your local National branch a call or alternatively please contact us via our live chat functionality which can be accessed via any page on our website.

If you are wanting to find out how to understand all of the tyre markings, please click on the link below.

How to read a tyre

Alternatively, please click the following link if you are looking for a Load Index Table.

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