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Here you will find useful tips and information on:

  • Reading your tyre markings
  • Speed rating
  • Load rating
  • Tyre pressure
  • Tyre rotation
  • Tyre tread
  • EU tyre label
  • Road

33% of road traffic accidents in 2014 caused by vehicle defects, were attributed to illegal, defective or under-inflated

Tyre Markings Explained

All the information you will need about your tyre can be found on the sidewall.

Here is a quick guide explaining what those numbers and letters mean.


Speed Rating Explained

The speed rating is represented by a letter. This denotes the maximum speed of the tyre at full load. In this case, the speed rating is 'V'.



Load Rating Explained

The load rating of the tyre indicates its carrying capacity. It can be found just before the speed rating on the sidewall of the tyre in numerical format. In this case, the load rating is '87'.


Tyre Pressure

Check your tyre pressures regularly. Ensuring recommended pressure is maintained could:

  • Extend the life of the tyre
  • Maintain fuel efficiency
  • Improve vehicle safety
  • Maintain comfort
  • underinflated

Tyre Rotation

By rotating the position of the tyres on your vehicle, uneven wear can be prevented prolonging the life of your tyres.

It is recommended to rotate tyres every 5000-6000 miles or 6 months which ever comes first. The tyres must be rotated correctly for each vehicle type.

Front wheel drive vehicles

Front tyres remain on the same side and are moved to the rear. The rear tyres move to the front and switch sides.


Rear wheel drive vehicles

Rear tyres remain on the same side and moved to the front. The front tyres move to the read and switch sides.


Four wheel drive vehicles

For these vehicles, tyres are to be swapped diagonally, position, as well as sides, are switched as shown below.


Directional tyres

In this instance, the tyres do not switch sides, only the position. The front tyres are to be moved straight to rear and vice versa as shown below.

Tyre Tread


Directional tyres

In this instance, the tyres do not switch sides, only position. The front tyres are to be moved straight to rear and vice versa as shown below.


Tyre Tread

The legal limit is 1.6mm of tread. Replace your tyres before reaching the legal limit to avoid the risk of 3 penalty points per tyre and a fine of upto £2500.


The level of tread remaining on your tyres affects the stopping distance of your vehicle. This is illustrated below for a vehicle travelling 50mph on a wet road.


EU Tyre label Explained

All new tyres come with a label similar to the one seen here.

The label contains information regarding the tyres wet grip performance, fuel efficiency and noise.

Fuel efficiency and roll resistance

Fuel efficiency is rated from 'A' (most efficient) to 'G' (least efficient). Energy lost through rolling resistance has a direct impact on fuel efficiency and the environment. The tyres can affect your vehicle's fuel consumption by up to 7.5%. Choosing 'A' over 'G' rated tyres could save you more than 6 litres of fuel per 620 miles.

Assuming average consumption to be 35mpg with the price of fuel at £1/litre and a tyre life of 20,000 miles- this translates to a monetary saving of around £200 over the life of the tyres. Fuel consumption and cost savings also depend on tyre pressure, vehicle weight and driving style.

Wet grip and braking performance

Wet grip is rated from 'A' (highest) to 'G' (lowest). The tyres performance is measured under strict conditions at a speed of 50mph. The braking distance between each grade is around 3 metres. So the difference between 'A' and 'G' is around 18 metres or 4 car lengths.


External noise rating

Expressed in decibels, the exterior noise grading of a tyre is also shown on the label.

  • One black wave indicates the tyre is at least 3db below the European limit
  • Two black waves indicate moderate noise. The tyre is between the European limit and 3db below
  • Three black waves indicate a noisy tyre, above European standards.
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