How to find the right tyre for your car

In order to understand what tyre is best suited for your vehicle, you need to understand how to read the tyre size information. The tyre size information is printed onto the side of the tyre - this area is referred to as the sidewall.

tyre wall markings

The tyre size information is made up of a series of numbers and letters each representing something different.

Let’s take a closer look at the example tyre 195/55R16 to get a better understanding of how to read the tyre sizing information:

195 – Section Width – this refers to the width of the tyre in millimeters. The section width is measured from the end to the end of the width including the sidewalls. Tyre width affects the driving performance of the tyre as it influences the contact the tyre has with the road. This, in turn, affects the grip and rolling resistance.

55 – Aspect Ratio – this refers to the height of the side wall as a percentage of the tyre width. In this case, a tyre with an aspect ratio of 55 is a tyre with a height equal to 55% of the tyre width.

R – Tyre Construction – this refers to the type of tyre construction. In this case the tyre has a radial construction. Other types include Bias (B) and Diagonal (D).

16 – Rim Diameter – this refers to the diameter of the tyres inner rim and is measured in inches.

87 – Load Rating – this refers to the total load or weight that a tyre can support.

V – Speed Rating – this refers to the maximum speed the tyre can support while under the recommended load capacity.

To find the recommended tyre size for your vehicle you can also look in the:

  • Car Owner’s Manual
  • Driver-side Door Jamb
  • Glove Box
  • Fuel Tank Hatch