Sidewall markings

Tyre size is the most important information given on the tyre. The size designation is specified as a series of numbers and letters, for example, 205/55 R 16 94 V XL, where:

205 is the width of the tyre in mm
55 is the aspect ratio (height to width ratio)
R denotes radial construction
16 is the rim diameter in inches
94 is the load index
V is the speed rating
XL Extra load capacity.

The speed rating shows the maximum continuous driving speed capability of the tyre. The speed rating to be selected depends on the make and model of car. The use of tyres with speed ratings that are too low can affect the driving qualities and tyres with speed ratings that are too high may reduce driving comfort.

The most important speed ratings are:

Q = 160 km/h
R = 170 km/h
S = 180 km/h
T = 190 km/h
H = 210 km/h
V = 240 km/h
W = 270 km/h
Y = 300 km/h

Are you confused by the tyre information in your car's registration document? Here's how to read it properly

Does the sequence 205/55 R 16 94 V XL say anything to you? You can find this alphabet soup in your registration document, and it will tell you the type of summer tyre that fits your car. However, registration documents often contain several tyre choices, allowing the driver to choose one based on whether they value driving comfort or a sensitive steering feel, for example. Read below for information that you should take into account to find tyres that are right for you.