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Tyre Speed Ratings Explained

SPEED Rating: the ONLY LETTER after THE load RATING.

Quick Answer: Tyre speed ratings indicate the maximum safe speed a tyre can handle under specific load conditions.

In Australia the maximum speed limit is 11o kph, however you will see many tyres have a K rating or higher, that because you car is capable than exceeding the spped limit and although you are not going to speed, the tyre needs to be able to operate in whatever condition you may find you seflin.

Understanding this code ensures you have the right tyre specification for your driving style.

Why does the correct tyre speed code matter?

Tyres are engineered to handle specific speeds and loads. Exceeding a tyre’s speed rating can lead to:

  • Increased risk of blowouts: Heat generation at high speeds can lead to tyre failure.
  • Reduced handling: Tyres may not grip the road properly at high speeds, compromising control.

Tyre Speed Code chart.

Symbol Speed Speed (km/h) Speed (mph)
A1 5 3
A2 10 6
A3 15 9
A4 20 12
A5 25 16
A6 30 19
A8 40 25
B 50 31
C 60 37
D 65 40
E 70 43
F 80 50
G 90 56
J 100 62
K 110 68
L 120 75
M 130 81
N 140 87
P 150 94
Q 160 100
R 170 106
S 180 112
T 190 118
U 200 124
H 210 130
V 240 149
W 270 168
Y 300 186

Choosing the Right Tyre Speed Rating.

  • Refer to your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the recommended speed rating for your car.
  • Consider your driving habits. If you frequently drive on highways, a higher speed rating might be appropriate.

Remember: Speed ratings only apply to undamaged and properly inflated tyres. Regularly check your tyre pressure and condition to ensure safe driving.

Tyre speed rating

Written By

Matt Banks

Matt is the founder of Autohero.com.au and has been hooked on cars and repairs ever since childhood.

A veteran in automotive since leaving school, Matt has completed his trade as a panel beater and is across all things with wheels. 

His first car was a 1967 FORD XR Wagon followed by a string of collectable Holden’s.

Have a question for Matt? leave a comment below.

One thought on “Tyre Speed Ratings Explained

  1. I like that you said that even while your car may go at high speeds, you shouldn’t always get tires with a higher speed rating. Instead, pick tires that will offer a good combination of safety and performance for the way you regularly operate your car. This will be beneficial to my husband, who needs to replace his worn-out tires as soon as feasible. In light of this, I’ll be sure to pass along your recommendations to him so he can pick the best tires for his car.

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