(*does not apply to truck tyres)
The tyre speed rating chart was established to match the speed capability of the tyre to that of the vehicle. View the speed rating chart for South Africa below.
Speed rating of a tyre is based on laboratory tests, under specific controlled conditions, where the tyre is pressed against a large diameter metal drum to reflect its appropriate load, and run at ever increasing speeds until the tyre’s required speed has been met or the tyre fails.
Important: speed ratings only apply to tyres that have not been damaged, under-inflated, overloaded or altered. Does not apply to truck tyres.
Tyre replacement: most tyre manufacturers recommend that vehicle owners replace a speed-rated tyre with a tyre of equivalent or greater speed rating.
Speed Rating Chart – Designation:
L 120km/h 4×4 & Bakkie Tyres
M 130km/h Spare Tyre
N 140km/h Spare Tyre
P 150km/h Winter 4×4 Tyres
Q 160km/h Winter Tyres
R 170km/h 4×4 & Bakkies Tyres
S 180km/h Family Sedans & Van Tyres
T 190km/h Family Sedans & Van Tyres
U 200km/h Sedans & Coupe Tyres
H 210km/h Sport Sedans & Coupe Tyres
V 240km/h Sport Sedans, Coupes & Sports Car Tyres
W 270km/h Exotic Sports Car Tyres
Y 300km/h Exotic Sports Car Tyres
ZR 240km/h+ Sports Car Tyres
Speed Ratings Origin & Further Info
Tyre speed ratings were introduced by Germany, due to their Autobahn (famous highway system) which has no federally mandated speed limit for some classes of vehicles.
Speed ratings for tyres range from A (the lowest) to Y (the highest), however, they don’t always follow alphabetically as H is rated between U and V.
Z was the highest speed rate until W and Y were used to match highest speeds of exotic sports cars.
Do speed ratings only refer to speed?
Ride comfort, tread wear and cornering ability is also influenced by speed rating. Higher speed ratings generally have better grip and stopping power, but lower tread life. Tyre manufacturers usually recommend having the same speed rated tyre on all four wheel positions.
How do I find my vehicle’s speed rating?
Vehicle manufacturers recommended speed ratings can be found in either the owner’s manual, driver’s side door, glove box door or fuel tank hatch.
View your current speed rating by checking the sidewall of your car’s tyres. The speed rating is normally the last character in the tyre’s size code, for example: 205/55R16 91V where “V” is the speed rating.
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