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Load and Speed Ratings

Having the correct tyres on your car goes beyond the size of the tyre fitted. It is also important to fit tyres with a suitable load index and speed symbol to protect road users from overloading their tyres, which could result in a serious accident.

The tyres load rating and speed symbol can be found on the sidewall of all passenger and 4x4 tyres. For example, the size on the sidewall of your tyre might be something like 225/60R16 98V. The “98” is the load index and the “V” is the speed symbol. A table of the various load indexes and speed symbols is shown below.

Your vehicle’s correct load rating (or load index), is listed on the tyre placard. It is an assigned number, which ranges from 0 to 279, while most passenger and 4x4 vehicles range between 62 and 126. Via a table (shown below) the load index indicates the heaviest load that a tyre can carry, whilst operating at maximum speed. The stated load rating applies strictly to a tyre that has been correctly inflated.

It is important for all road users to understand that it is the air in tyres that carries the load, not the tyre itself. Hence, tyres that can sustain higher pressures and those with larger volume can carry greater load than small tyres or tyres that can only be inflated to low pressures. Installed tyres must have a load index equal to or greater than the vehicle manufacturer’s original recommendation (as seen on the tyre placard).

The speed rating, can also be found on the sidewall of the tyre. It is recommended to maintain the original vehicle manufacturers listed speed rating however, legal requirements differ according to state legislation. Talk to your local BestDrive store to determine the best tyre for your needs.

Speed ratings are determined by indoor lab tests that measure high-speed durability, under controlled conditions. A tyre’s speed rating is based on minimum standards for reaching and sustaining a specified speed. A speed rating is only applicable if the tyres haven’t been punctured, damaged, altered, under inflated or overloaded.

When having new tyres fitted at BestDrive, we will work with you to answer any questions that you may have. We will ensure that your new tyres have suitable speed rating and load index, ensuring that your vehicle is both safe and complies with legal standards.
BestDrive. You drive, we care.

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