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Tyre Symbols Guide

Learn more about the different tyre symbols

Tyres used within the European Union come under the European Regulation No. 1222/2009 which ensures additional information is provided for tyre buyers to help them make an informed buying decision.

Tyre Symbols From The EU

Fuel Efficiency There are three main visual symbols that provide information about the tyre. These informative symbols focus on fuel-efficiency, breaking distances on wet roads, and tyre noise levels The fuel and petrol pump symbol relates to the fuel-efficiency when a vehicle is using this tyre. The tyre is graded from A (most efficient) to G (least efficient). The cost savings on fuel between A and G are approximately 7.5% annually.

Wet Grip The tyre and rain symbol relates to braking distances in wet road conditions. Tyres are rated from A (better) to G (worse) on the number of metres it takes to break to a stop. Selecting an A-rated tyre instead of an F-rated tyre can cut braking distances in wet conditions down by 18 metres.

Road Noise The tyre and speaker symbol relates to the external sound level of tyre noise and how it relates to future EU tyre noise level limits. This will be a different tyre sound level to what the driver will personally experience when the vehicle is being driven. A pictogram with 3 levels is used to indicate decibel (dB) levels visually, with the actual detected decibel level shown within the symbol.

1 black wave indicates a low noise tyre at 3 decibels less than the future EU tyre noise limit.

2 black waves indicates an average noise tyre which is equal and lower than the future EU tyre noise limit.

3 black waves indicates a noisy tyres that whilst currently complies with tyre noise regulations, it will exceed future EU tyre noise limits.

Tyre Symbols For Car Manufacturers & Tyre Types

Beneath the tyre image on our product pages is a symbol relating either to the manufacturer or the tyre type. To more clearly understand what each tyre symbol means, please see the manufacturer and tyre type explanations shown below:

  • All Terrain tyres (marked with an 'AT' on the sidewall) offer a 50:50 compromise between off-road and on-road capability, providing good versatility on a wide variety of surface types, from dry sealed roads to dirt and mud tracks. The preferred choice for many 4WD owners who wants to use their vehicle both on and off road. All Terrain tread patterns are designed to give improved grip on unsealed surfaces whilst clearing mud and dirt from the tyre tread.

  • Asymmetrical tyres have a different tread pattern on each side of the tyre and in most cases have 'inner' and 'outer' markings on the sidewalls of the tyres. This allows different tread patterns with differing characteristics to be combined in one tyre for excellent dry and wet weather performance.

  • Audi recommends 'R0' and 'A0' marked tyres to improve performance. These tyres have been specifically designed to compliment the performance characteristics of their vehicles. National recommends replacing in sets of four. These tyres should not be fitted to any other vehicle.

  • These tyres have been specifically designed to compliment the performance characteristics of Bentley / Audi vehicles such as the Audi S3, S4, TT and Bentley Continental GT. These tyres are can be identified by the 'B' marked sidewall markings and can be fitted to other vehicles, but only in sets of four.

  • BMW recommends '*' marked tyres to improve performance. These tyres have been specifically designed to compliment the performance characteristics of their vehicles. National recommends replacing in sets of four. These tyres can be fitted to other vehicles.

  • Chrysler / Dodge recommends only 'C1' marked tyres. These tyres have been specifically designed to compliment the performance characteristics of their vehicles. National recommends replacing in sets of four. These tyres should not be fitted to any other vehicle.

  • Cold Weather Tyres, sometimes referred to as winter tyres, are designed for improved performance at temperatures below 7°C. At this temperature the rubber in summer tyres starts to harden and lose performance whilst the rubber compound of cold weather tyres remains supple, maintaining grip.

  • Extra Load tyres are an evolution of the reinforced tyre for heavier, higher performance vehicles, allowing a lower profile tyre with extra load carrying capability, these tyre give more rigidity and enhanced road holding. Extra load tyres have a higher inflation pressure and often have XL moulded on the sidewall.

  • Ferrari recommends only 'K1' marked tyres. These tyres have been specifically designed to compliment the performance characteristics of their vehicles. National recommends replacing in sets of four. These tyres should not be fitted to any other vehicle.

  • Highway Terrain tyres (marked with an 'HT' on the sidewall) are recommended for drivers who spend limited time off-road. They are designed to offer excellent ride comfort, low noise and motorway speed durability and road handling. Most brand new 4WDs and especially the compact 4WDs are fitted with these tyres as standard fitment.

  • Jaguar recommends 'J' marked tyres to improve performance. These tyres have been specifically designed to compliment the performance characteristics of their vehicles. National recommends replacing in sets of four. These tyres can be fitted to other vehicles.

  • Lamborghini recommends 'L' marked tyres to improve performance. These tyres have been specifically designed to complement the performance characteristics of their vehicles. National recommends replacing in sets of four. The tyres may be fitted on either side of the vehicle and can also be fitted to other vehicles.

  • Low rolling resistance tyres have an 'E' on the sidewall. The lower the rolling resistance the less fuel is required to propel a vehicle forward. Adding silica to the tread compound of tyres can result in a reduction in rolling resistance of 20% or more. A 20% reduction in rolling resistance can equate to a 5% fuel saving. For maximum efficiency, National recommend replacing in sets of four.

  • Mercedes recommends 'M0' marked tyres to improve performance. These tyres have been specifically designed to compliment the performance characteristics of their vehicles. National recommends replacing in sets of four. These tyres can be fitted to other vehicles.

  • Mud & Snow tyres have specifically engineered rubber compounds and often more aggressive 'block style' tread patterns to increase performance in poor road conditions.

  • Mud Terrain tyres (marked with an 'MT' on the sidewall) are generally recommended for drivers who spend at least 80% of their time off-road. Generally characterised by their large and chunky tread pattern, this design provides grip by biting into muddy surfaces. The large open tread design also allows mud and dirt to clear more quickly - an important anti-slip factor for negotiating muddy inclines or declines with safety and ease.

  • Outline White Lettering tyres are popular on 4x4 tyres and have white raised lettering, often identifying the tyre manufacturer and tyre model.

  • Porsche recommends 'N' marked tyres to improve performance. These tyres have been specifically designed to compliment the performance characteristics of their vehicles. National recommends replacing in sets of four. These tyres should not be fitted to other vehicles.

  • Reinforced tyres are often fitted to vehicles which are likely to be carrying above average weights typically small vans, people carriers and some 4X4 vehicles and estate cars. The letters R/F will be moulded on the sidewall to identify these tyres.

  • Renault recommends 'A' marked tyres for the Espace 4. These tyres have been specifically designed to compliment the performance characteristics of this vehicle. National recommends replacing in sets of four. These tyres can be fitted to other vehicles.

  • Run-flat tyres have heavily reinforced sidewalls and are designed to keep the tyre fixed to the wheel, even when operating at zero pressure. Most tyre manufacturers DO NOT recommend a Run-flat tyre be repaired following operation at reduced pressure. National recommends replacing run-flat tyres with run-flat tyres.

  • These tyres are often found on collectors cars popular, classic and custom cars. White wall tyres can be identified by the stripe of white rubber on the outer sidewalls.

  • Winter tyres are made from a different compound to standard tyres - one that doesn’t harden in the cold. It remains flexible and grippy due to its higher proportion of natural rubber.

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