The British Tyre Label Guide

We’ve put together a useful guide to buying tyres in our online store! Here you will find all of the information that you will need in order to find the right rubbery companions for your vehicle!

Ordering your car tyres couldn’t be easier; enter your tyre number located on the sidewall of the tyre and we will show you a great selection of brands and affordable car tyres to suit your budget and driving style.

The tyre number is the most accurate way of determining the kind of tyres needed for your vehicle. You can use our guide to help you locate this.

Due to vehicle design, some cars are fitted with tyres that are a different size to the front comparable to the rear.

Simply order the first pair, after the payment screen, you will be brought back to the beginning allowing you to go through the simple steps again to order the second pair.

The sides of your tyres are marked with a code which identifies your tyre size. Here’s a simple guide to help you identify the right tyres for your vehicle.

To help you easily identify the tyre number, its format is a mixture of both letters and numbers, which will be displayed on the side of the tyre as follows:

205 55 R16 91 W

Please see below for an example of what this would look like on the tyre:

Sidewell MarkingExplanation
205Width of the tyre in millimetres
55Height of the tyre sidewall as a percentage of the width. In this case 55% of 205mm. Also know as the aspect ratio.
RRadial Construction
16The diameter of the tyre’s inner rim in inches
91Load Rating of the Tyre. In this case its 615kg
WSpeed Rating. Indicates the maximum speed for the tyre when at full load. In this case 168 mph.

To find out your speed rating, locate the letter on the sidewall of your tyres and refer to the speed index table on our tyre sidewall pages.

Being able to identify the tyre size, load index and speed rating allows you to choose the correct tyre for your vehicle.

The last two numbers of your tyre number signifies the amount of weight each tyre can carry.

Before changing the type of tyre you want, you may need to check with the car manufacturer what capacity should be put on your car.

Please enter your tyre load index in the box below to find its maximum load:

The last letter of your tyre number signifies what speed your tyre is capable of maintaining.

Speed ratings are based on tests that car manufactures’ carry out done in increments of 6.2mph and gradually increased until the desired speed limit is reached.

Please see the table below to find out what the maximum speed your car can maintain:

Speed RatingMile/HourKilometers/HourSpeed RatingMiles/HourKilometers/Hour

Each tyre carries a DOT code comprising of 11 or 12 letters and numbers. The last four digits identify the age of the tyre, e.g. ‘0102’ shows that the tyre was manufactured in the first week of 2002.

Date of manufacture is important because as tyres get older they deteriorate – even if they have been hardly used. For example, vintage cars or caravans which are stored for long periods and not driven regularly could deteriorate over time. When this happens the tyres need to be replaced.

If you are unsure, ask for your local garage to check for this.

Fitments codes are stamped on the tyre to help identify any special features making it better suited for certain driving styles or vehicles, e.g. if your tyre is stamped with ‘MS’ this means that it is suitable for mud and snow conditions.

However this does not restrict you or the vehicle in any way from putting on a different tyre as long as the size is the same and fitment codes are only a recommendation point.

See the list below for common fitment codes and an explanation of what they mean:

  • RE -Reinforced
  • RF – Run Flat
  • XL – Extra Load
  • WW – White Wall
  • O – Outline White Lettering
  • MS – Mud and Snow
  • AO – Audi
  • AS – Asymmetric
  • NO – Porsche Fitment
  • N1 – Porsche Fitment
  • N2 – Porsche Fitment
  • N3 – Porsche Fitment
  • C1 – Chrysler Fitment
  • K1 – Ferrari Fitment
  • B – Bentley/Continental GT Fitment
  • G1 – Various Fitment
  • MO – Mercedes Fitment
  • J – Jaguar Fitment

The tyre valve is often the most neglected and overlooked component within the wheel and tyre assembly. Wear on the valve seal, damaged screw threads, dirt and grit in the valve itself can lead to failure of the tyre. Even a poorly sealed valve can cause the loss of air pressure of the tyre which will reduce the life of your tyre by up to 25%.

As it is impossible to replace the valve without removing the tyre casing from the wheel, we here at British Tyres provide a free valve with all our tyres to help and avoid this from happening especially when you’re having a new tyre fitted.

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