Tyre Buying Guide. What the information on your wheel means.

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Understanding the writing on the sides of your tyres means you will fit the correct wheel to your vehicle if you purchase on Ebay. Needless to say, once you are armed with the same knowledge as your tyre dealer on what these symbols mean, you will be able to take advantage of the many offers available so you can buy with confidence.

After your initial search for tyres and wheels you will notice you can input the width, aspect ratio ect. at the top of the listings, this is very powerful and will lead you to a shortlist which should be helpful in your quest. To help you understand the numbers and letters read on.

A tip is to search for your vehicle make, model and date but be sure to put a tick in the box to allow search within descritpions (normally at the right of the main search dialogue box AFTER you have completed your first search for "tyres", for example.) because many ebayers put their vehicle data in the listing rather than the heading.

Here is a short extract from the  British Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (BTMA):

 
Tyre Size markings and Service Description
The most common nomenclature used for Size markings is illustrated by the following example:
205/55 R16
205 is the tyre section width in mm
55 is the Aspect Height/Width ratio in %
R denotes Radial Ply design
16 is the wheel rim diameter code
(Inches)
The Service Description of a tyre is its “Load Index” plus “Speed Symbol”. For example
205/55 R16 91V
In this example the “91” is the Load Index and reference to standard industry tables stipulate that the maximum load for the tyre in this illustration is 615 kg.
The “V” in this example is the tyre‟s “Speed Symbol” indicating its maximum speed of 150 mph.
Although the law only demands tyres are capable of meeting the national speed limit, do not be tempted to fit a lower Speed Symbol tyre than originally fitted because it is important to note the “Speed Symbol” is not only an indicator to the tyre‟s maximum speed potential, but also an indicator of how well it copes under braking, cornering and acceleration. In some European countries the speed symbol of replacement tyres must by law be equal to or higher than the original fit tyres.
For obvious reasons the tyre‟s load capability must as a minimum match the loads imposed by the vehicle, statically and dynamically. UK law does stipulate replacement tyres must have a Load Index equal to or higher than the original fit tyre.Tyre Size markings and Service Description
The most common nomenclature used for Size markings is illustrated by the following example:
205/55 R16
205 is the tyre section width in mm
55 is the Aspect Height/Width ratio in %
R denotes Radial Ply design
16 is the wheel rim diameter code
(Inches)
The Service Description of a tyre is its “Load Index” plus “Speed Symbol”. For example
205/55 R16 91V
In this example the “91” is the Load Index and reference to standard industry tables stipulate that the maximum load for the tyre in this illustration is 615 kg.
The “V” in this example is the tyre‟s “Speed Symbol” indicating its maximum speed of 150 mph.
Although the law only demands tyres are capable of meeting the national speed limit, do not be tempted to fit a lower Speed Symbol tyre than originally fitted because it is important to note the “Speed Symbol” is not only an indicator to the tyre‟s maximum speed potential, but also an indicator of how well it copes under braking, cornering and acceleration. In some European countries the speed symbol of replacement tyres must by law be equal to or higher than the original fit tyres.
For obvious reasons the tyre‟s load capability must as a minimum match the loads imposed by the vehicle, statically and dynamically. UK law does stipulate replacement tyres must have a Load Index equal to or higher than the original fit tyre.
Tyre Size markings and Service Description

The most common nomenclature used for Size markings is illustrated by the following example:  205/55 R16 91V
205 is the tyre section width in mm
55 is the Aspect Height/Width ratio in %
R denotes Radial Ply design
16 is the wheel rim diameter code (Inches)

The Service Description of a tyre is its “Load Index” plus “Speed Symbol”. For example:  205/55 R16 91V
In this example the “91” is the Load Index and reference to standard industry tables stipulate that the maximum load for the tyre in this illustration is 615 kg.
The “V” in this example is the tyre‟s “Speed Symbol” indicating its maximum speed of 150 mph.
Although the law only demands tyres are capable of meeting the national speed limit, do not be tempted to fit a lower Speed Symbol tyre than originally fitted because it is important to note the “Speed Symbol” is not only an indicator to the tyre‟s maximum speed potential, but also an indicator of how well it copes under braking, cornering and acceleration. In some European countries the speed symbol of replacement tyres must by law be equal to or higher than the original fit tyres.

For obvious reasons the tyre‟s load capability must as a minimum match the loads imposed by the vehicle, statically and dynamically. UK law does stipulate replacement tyres must have a Load Index equal to or higher than the original fit tyre.

Full information is available online in the BTMA advice document entitled  Replacing_Car_Tyres_1_June_2011.pdf
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