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TIRE BASICS

Tire Speed Rating

What do the numbers on the side of your tire tell you? Learn more about important specifications like speed rating. Once you’re ready to start shopping, our tire finder will help you get started.

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What Does Speed Rating Mean on Tires?

Tire speed rating is different than tire size.

Tire speed rating tells you the maximum service speed for a tire. A speed rating isn't, however, a recommendation to exceed speed limits, and doesn't indicate how well a tire handles or corners.

The speed rating tells you the maximum speed capability of the tire when properly inflated.

Choosing a tire with an equal or greater speed rating than the original equipment tire is generally recommended.

It is not recommended to fit tires with different speed ratings.

If tires with different speed ratings are installed on a vehicle, they should be installed with like pairs on the same axle. The speed capability of the vehicle will become limited to that of the lowest speed rated tires. Obey all speed limits.

Tire Speed Rating Chart

Speed Symbol Maximum Speed Vehicle Type
L 75mph Off-Road & Light Truck Tires
M 81mph Temporary Spare Tires
N 87mph
P 93mph
Q 99mph Studless & Studdable Winter Tires
R 106mph H.D. Light Truck Tires
S 112mph Family Sedans & Vans
T 118mph Family Sedans & Vans
U 124mph
H 130mph Sport Sedans & Coupes
V 149mph Sport Sedans, Coupes & Sports Cars
W 168mph Sport Sedans, Coupes & Sports Cars
Y 186mph Sport Sedans, Coupes & Sports Cars
Z 149mph+ Sports Cars, Exotic Cars

* W- and Y-speed ratings are subcategories of the Z-speed rating.

** Per the TR&A 2007 yearbook, for tires having a maximum speed capability above 240 km/h (149 mph), a ZR may appear in the size designation. For tires having a maximum speed capacity above 300 km/h (186 mph), a ZR must appear in the size designation and a service description, including the Y speed symbol, must be included in brackets.

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