Tyre Markings and Tyre Weight Ratings Explained

posted in: Mark1 Conversions, Tips | 0

Tyre markings are the numbers and letters printed on the side of your tyre. They tell you information about the size, type, and performance of the tyre.

The markings usually look something like this: 215/65R16 99V, but what do they mean:

  • The first number (205 in our example) tells you the tyre’s width in millimetres, our example is 205mm wide.
  • The second number (65 in our example) tells you the tyre’s height (or profile) as a percentage of the width, so our example is 65% of the width or 133mm.
  • The letter (R in our example) stands for “Radial” which is the type of tyre. Almost every new tyre built today is a radial tyre.
  • The third number (16 in our example) tells you the size of the wheel rim in inches, so our example is a 16″ tyre.
  • The fourth number (99 in our example) tells you the load index rating, so from the table below, our example is 775kg weight rated.
  • and the final letter (V in our example) tells you the speed rating and in our example is 149mph.

If you have Motorhome or Light Commercial tyres on your vehicle the markings may be in a different order, something like this: 215/70R15CP and maybe next to it or further around on the tyre 109/107 R

  • The width/height/type/size elements are the same as the standard tyres detailed above.
  • Next, you will see a letter, either C or CP – Commercial or Camper (I cannot find the exact definition of CP anywhere, but generally referred to as Camper)
  • You will then find (maybe next to it, maybe further around on the wheel) the load rating, but it will be 2 parts (such as in our example109/107).
    • The first load applies to single-formation (in our example, 109 or 1030kg)
    • The second is applied when in twin-formation (twin rear axle) (in our example, 107 or 975kg)
  • followed by the speed rating letter (R in our example, 106mph)

Load Index or Weight Rating Table

As we deal in van conversions, this list has not started with the lower weight, but here is a list from 90 to 113 ratings:

Tyre MarkingLoad (Kg)

Speed Index Table

Speed IndexSpeed Limit (mph / kph)
N87 / 140
P93 / 150
Q99 / 160
R106 / 170
S112 / 180
T118 / 190
U124 / 200
H130 / 210
V149 / 240
Z150+ / 240+
W168 / 270
Y186 / 300

Mud and Snow

The snowy mountain (or 3PMSF label) logo is the latest (at the time of writing) standard for winter or snow tyres

M+S Stands for Mud and Snow. They indicate the manufactured to perform under winter conditions but is not subject to the testing levels of 3PMSF marked tyres

Date of Manufacture

Did you know the tyre is also marked with the date it was made? Look for a 4-digit code on the sidewall of your tyre. The first 2 digits are the week number (from 1 to 52) and the last 2 are the year, so 4520 would have been made in week 45 of 2020.

For Your Safety

The above is purely for information. If you have any concerns about the safety or suitability of your tyres, you should consult expert help immediately.