Take the following tire codes, for instance:

195/65R15 91 V

245/40R18 97 Y

What does the "V" signify? What other letter codes are there?

  • 2
    @SQB Yeah, it's definitely ripped exactly from that question, but the way it's phrased might make it more useful for others in the future who are searching. Jan 7, 2016 at 16:42
  • @Zaid Your welcome, I like that I was able to give you the inspiration for this question! Jan 7, 2016 at 21:02

2 Answers 2


The "V" you're asking about is the Speed Rating of the tire. There's a speed rating for almost every letter of the alphabet: (note that H decided to cut in line for some reason...)

A1-A8 - Steps from 3 mph to 25 mph
B - Up to 31 mph
C - Up to 37 mph
D - Up to 40 mph
E - Up to 43 mph
F - Up to 50 mph
G - Up to 56 mph
J - Up to 62 mph
K - Up to 68 mph
L - Up to 75 mph
M - Up to 81 mph
N - Up to 87 mph
P - Up to 94 mph
Q - Up to 100 mph
R - Up to 106 mph
S - Up to 112 mph
T - Up to 118 mph
U - Up to 124 mph
H - Up to 130 mph
V - Up to 149 mph
W - Up to 168 mph
Y - Up to 186 mph
Z - 149 mph and over
ZR - 186 mph and over

That's quite a list, but in practice, you will only ever see tires in the S-Z range for regular highway use. It seems like a "P" tire would be just fine for any public road, but there's always a margin of safety that you need to think about. Even then, a speed rating of "H" doesn't mean the tire will fail and explode at 131 mph, it just means the tire will start to deform and will not perform well at higher speeds. Of course, "not performing well" is actually a big deal for the car at 130+, but the tire won't immediately fail.

Note that Z is purposely less than W or Y because it is meant to be a generic "over 149mph" (open-ended) identifier. When ZR is used, it means a speed rating grater than 186mph.


That letter is the speed rating of the tyre - i.e. the maximum speed the tyre is rated for - for example, V is rated for 149mph/240kph.

Some people say you can use a lower rated tyre if you're not going to drive as fast, however many insurance companies will insist that you use a suitable rating for your car - you can find this online at various tyre supplier websites, or in the user manual for your car (mine has it on the sticker with the tyre pressures - Q to V in my case, depending on the type of tyre (Q for snow, V for summer tyres)

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