Tyre Speed Rating

Understand what tyre speed ratings are

And how to find the right tyres for your car

One way to keep on top of tyre safety is to make sure that the tyres on your car have the right tyre speed rating. We’ll explain what a tyre speed rating is, why it’s important and how to check it for your car.

In this article

Car tyres

What’s a tyre speed rating?

The speed rating of a tyre shows you the top speed that the tyre can safely be driven at. It’s a legally approved limit and tyres are only rated after they’ve been tested in a lab. The safest top speed applies as long as the tyre isn’t being driven with too much weight loaded.

Often, the tyre speed rating will be a faster speed than your car's able to go. That’s mainly for safety reasons, to make sure that you tyre performance is never worse than the car’s performance.

Find out more about tyre law.


Does the tyre speed rating matter?

Choosing the right tyre speed rating for your car’s important for the safety of yourself and other road users. 

If the tyre speed rating’s too low for your car, it might not be able to cope with the heat of high speeds. That could cause the tyre to lose performance and the car to lose control. It could even lead to a tyre blow-out.

But it’s not just about speed. The rating also relates to:

  • Ride comfort
  • Tread wear
  • Traction
  • Cornering ability

It’s important to choose the right speed rating for your vehicle and the conditions. Tyres with higher speed ratings may give better grip and stopping distances, but they might not perform as well in the cold and could wear out faster.

Tyre speed rating and insurance

The tyre speed rating’s also important for legal reasons. If you have a lower tyre speed rating than you should, it might invalidate your car insurance.


Where can I find the tyre speed rating?

You can check the tyre speed rating on the sidewall of a car. There's a group of letters and numbers on the side. The final letter is the speed rating. 

The speed rating letter comes after the load rating. It’s important to look at both together because the speed rating depends on driving with the right load.


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Tyre speed rating chart

This chart shows you the maximum speed is for each tyre speed rating letter. The system is based on kilometres per hour (kmh), which is why the increments seem odd in miles per hour (mph).

Speed
rating

mph km/h

Speed
rating

mph km/h
A1 3 5 K 68 110
A2 6 10 L 75 120
A3 9 15 M 81 130
A4 12 20 N 87 140
A5 16 25 P 93 150
A6 19 30 Q 100 160
A7 22 35 R 106 170
A8 25 40 S 112 180
B 31 50 T 118 190
C 37 60 U 124 200
D 40 65 H 130 210
E 43 70 V 149 240
F 50 80 W 168 270
G 56 90 Y 186 300
J 62 100 (Y) 186+ 300+

Tyre load index chart

The 2 numbers on a tyre sidewall that come before the tyre speed rating are the load index. This shows you the maximum weight of the vehicle (and any load it’s carrying) for that tyre.

It’s important not to go over the maximum load as it could be dangerous. The tyre speed rating won’t be accurate and it could affect the way the tyres perform and handle.

You’ll also need to make sure your tyre pressure is correct.

Load index

Load (kg) Load index Load (kg) Load index Load (kg)
62 265 84 500 106 950
63 272 85 515 107 975
64 280 86 530 108 1000
65 290 87 545 109 1030
66 300 88 560 110 1060
67 307 89 580 111 1090
68 315 90 600 112 1120
69 325 91 615 113 1150
70 335 92 630 114 1180
71 345 93 650 115 1215
72 355 94 670 116 1250
73 365 95 690 117 1285
74 375 96 710 118 1320
75 381 97 730 119 1360
76 400 98 750 120 1400
77 400 99 775 121 1450
78 400 100 800 122 1500
79 400 101 825 123 1550
80 400 102 850 124 1600
81 400 103 875 125 1650
82 400 104 900 126 1700
83 400 105 925


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

Yes, you can. It’s not against the law to choose tyres with a higher speed rating that your car needs as long as they’re right for your vehicle.

Find out more about the legal requirements for car tyres.


Can I fit tyres with a lower speed rating that I need?

No, you shouldn’t ever fit tyres with a speed rating that’s too low for your car. It could cause steering and control issues or you might even suffer tyre failure.

It’s not illegal to use a tyre speed rating that’s too low but it is dangerous and it could stop your car insurance from paying out.


Can I mix tyres with different speed ratings?

We’d never recommended mixing tyres with different speed ratings on your vehicle.

It’s safest to fit the same size and type of tyre, with the same speed rating, on all your wheels.



Published: 23 November 2020 | Updated: 24 November 2020 | Author: The AA