How to read the information on your tyre ?

Tyres are interesting technological items and the labels attached to them are full of information that you need to understand to choose the right tyre for your vehicle. Size, fuel consumption, performance, and speed rating, let’sgo through it all together !

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Step 1: Read a tyre reference.

The reference of a tyre is presented in the following way: 205/55R16 91V. A 3-digit number, a 2-digit number, a letter, a 2-digit number again and finally a letter. Each of these parts corresponds to the description of a specific element that will detail the information of the tyre.

Tyre size

Your tyre size is found on the sidewall of your current tyre and consists of a sequence of numbers and letters. The most common tyre size in Europe is 205/55R16 but there are many variations. It is therefore important to check your current tyre or consult the vehicle manual to ensure that the correct tyre size has been fitted.

Tyre width

The first three numbers. They indicate the width of the tyre in millimetres. A tyre marked 225 will measure 225 mm from sidewall to sidewall of the tread.

Aspect ratio

The fourth and fifth digits of the tyre code immediately follow the width of the tyre. The aspect ratio or sidewall profile height of the tyre is expressed as a percentage of the tyre width. An aspect ratio of 55, for example, means that the tyre's sidewall height is 55% of its width.


Radial tyres are marked with the letter R. Radial tyres are constructed with the cord plies positioned at a 90-degree angle to the direction of travel to give the tyre extra strength. Almost all new tyres manufactured today are radial tyres.

Wheel diameter

The next two numbers represent the size of the wheel rim on which the tyre can be mounted. It is also the diameter of the tyre from bead to bead.  For example, a tyre marked 16 will fit a 16-inch rim.

The load index.

The detail of the tyre size is completed by two indicators that will specify the performance of the tyre. The first of these is the load index, which is represented by 1 number. 

This number corresponds to a maximum load in kg that the tyre can support, while maintaining its original characteristics. As an example, for a load index of 91, the authorised load weight is limited to 615 kilos. 

The speed index.

The second index is the speed index and is represented by a letter. In our example V is the speed index. This letter corresponds to the maximum speed at which the tyre can be driven while maintaining its performance range. V represents an optimum performance speed of 240km/h. 

For more information, we recommend that you consult these tables of load and speed ratings in detail.

Step 2: Labelling  

Tyre labelling is regulated in Europe by regulation 2020/740 of 25 May 2020 from 1 May 2021. Since then, the labelling no longer applies only to passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (class C1 and C2 tyres), but also to heavy commercial vehicles (class C3). The label contains the following information.

Noise emissions

This criterion measures the external noise of the tyres. The aim of the legislator is to combat noise pollution. It does not refer to the noise heard inside the car. Noise is expressed in decibels (dB) and classified into 3 noise levels depending on the size of the tyres.

Fuel consumption

There are 7 classes from A (the most efficient) to G (the least efficient). Class D is not used. The difference in fuel consumption between class A and class G tyres can be up to 7.5%.

Wet grip

This is the only safety criterion in the new labelling. It assesses the wet braking ability which is rated (at 80km/h), not the road holding. Classes D and G are not used.

Finally, 3PMSF (3-Peak Mountain SnowFlake) and Ice pictograms attesting to a minimum level of performance on snow and ice a QR Code integrating all the numerical data of the label and information on the homologation of the tyre.

We hope that this article has given you all the information you need to make reading your tyres easier! Take a look at our other articles and visit your local Point S centre if you need expert advice