Tire speed rating

If you’re wondering what a speed rating is for tires, you’ve come to the right place. The speed rating is another essential part of your tire’s performance. The speed symbol located on your tire indicates the maximum speed capability of the tire when properly loaded and inflated.

Get to know your tire speed rating

  • Speed ratings are given letters, and each letter represents a speed between 75-186 mph. The most common are L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, U, H, V, W, and Z.
  • When buying new tires, choose a set that meets at least the minimum speed rating suggested by the vehicle manufacturer. Please refer to your vehicle owners manual.
  • While your speed rating is typically faster than the speed limit of the road, always follow the rules of the road (i.e. posted speed limits, road surfaces and weather conditions).
  • Speed ratings are based on laboratory tests where the tire is pressed against a large diameter metal drum to reflect its appropriate load, and run at ever increasing speeds until the tire's required speed has been met. The speed ratings only apply to tires that have not been damaged or altered.
  • A tire that has been cut or punctured no longer retains the original speed rating, even after being properly repaired. A punctured tire that has been properly repaired has a maximum speed capability of 85 mph.

The speed rating scale

Make sure you keep in mind that tire manufacturers test their tires and assign their own speed rating.

Here’s a list of the tire speed ratings.

Speed Symbol Maximum
S 112 mph
T 118 mph
U 124 mph
H 130 mph
V 149 mph
*W 168 mph
Z 149 mph+