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Quick Lane

So, you’ve seen all the information from Tyre Safety Month and heeded their call to ‘ACT’. And now, having checked your Air pressure, Condition and Tread depth, you’ve seen that you need new tyres…Now what?

When buying new tyres, it’s important to choose the right size for your vehicle and load capacity. The information you need can be found on the sidewall of your tyre, in your handbook or on a sticker inside the door jam or fuel-cap. But if you find these letters and numbers somewhat bewildering, don’t worry – you’re not alone!

To help you decipher the code, we’ve created a handy breakdown:

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Example: 185/60 R16 86H

185: This represents the width of the tyre in millimetres. So, in this case, the tyre is 185mm wide. 

60: This is the height of the sidewall expressed as a percentage of the width. This is sometimes called the ‘profile’ or ‘aspect ratio’ of the tyre.

R: This marking refers to the tyre’s internal construction. R stands for a ‘radial’ tyre – almost all tyres manufactured today are of radial construction.

16: This is the inside diameter of the tyre, also known as the rim height. This number is expressed in inches – so, in this example, the diameter is 16 inches, and will therefore fit a 16-inch wheel rim.

86: This refers to the tyre's load rating. The higher the number, the more weight each tyre is able to carry. It is important to note that this doesn't mean that the tyre can carry 86kg, but that the index is 86 – you then need to refer to a look-up table to determines the load in kg. In our example, the load is 530kg. 

H: This is the speed rating. There’s a table of speed ratings (see below), with each number corresponding to an equivalent in km/h. As you can see, H is 130mph.

Tyre speed ratings

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 | Code | Max speed
| L | 75mph/120kmh
| M | 81mph/130kmh
| N | 87mph/140kmh
| P | 93mph/150kmh
| Q | 99mph/160kmh
| R | 106mph/170kmh
| S | 112mph/180kmh
| T | 118mph/190kmh
| U | 124mph/200kmh
| H | 130mph/210kmh
| V | 149mph/240kmh
| Z | 149mph+/240kmh+
| W | 168mph/270kmh
| Y | 186mph/300kmh
The good news is that most tyre manufacturers follow the above industry-standard method – so once you’ve interpreted the markings, you’re good to go!

If you’re unsure, visit your local Quick Lane centre, where our friendly team will be happy to help. We’re also proud to offer a Tyre Price Promise to guarantee you always get the best possible deal as well as the best possible service!