What is the speed rating?

The origin of speed ratings

It is an index that provides information on the maximum speed at which a tire can sustain the load represented by the vehicle.

The speed rating is a letter on the sidewall of your tire corresponding to the maximum speed the tire can reach.

Tire speed ratings range from A (lowest) to Y (highest). But, it's more complex! For example, H lies between U and V, where H was synonymous with "high performance."

As manufacturers build faster and faster vehicles, tire speed ratings have evolved to accommodate this new performance. For example, Z was the highest speed rating at 240+ km/h until W and Y were used to match the higher speeds of exotic sports cars.

Where are the speed ratings shown?

The speed rating is located on the sidewall of the tire. It corresponds to the last letter of the tire's specification code, for example, the W in the 255/40R17 94W code. To find the maximum speed, you must match this letter with the speed rating table below.


When replacing your tires, it is essential to choose the same speed rating as the original equipment tire. You can always increase the speed rating of your vehicle's tires for better performance. Still, you can never reduce it without also reducing the maximum speed of the vehicle corresponding to the lower speed rating chosen.

On the other hand, for your winter tires, you have the option of choosing a lower speed rating than for your summer tires to achieve greater flexibility. A higher speed rating defines a harder tire, so its characteristics are less favorable for winter conditions. However, you should not drop more than one letter to ensure a good fitment.

To ensure that you are making the right tire choice based on your speed rating and driving style, don't hesitate to contact one of our customer service experts by email or by phone.

How is the speed rating determined?

The speed rating results from a laboratory test that calculates how fast the tire remains intact.

Speed rating chart

  • Q 160 km/h
  • R 170 km/h
  • S 180 km/h
  • T 190 km/h
  • U 200 km/h
  • H 210 km/h
  • V 240 km/h
  • W 270 km/h
  • Y 300 km/h
  • Z Speeds above 240 km/h