Tyre Sidewall Makings

How to read your tyre size

In Australia, the only markings required on a tyre sidewall are as follows:

  • Manufacturers Logo or brand name
  • Tyre Size, Series, Rim Size, Load and Speed Rating/Symbol
  • Serial No. - date code (when tyre was built; week, month, year)
  • Details of construction showing tyre size, radial, tubeless or tubed
  • Country of Origin
  • Mould Number
  • Factory code number

On the sidewall of a tyre you will notice a number codes and markings which relate to its various features. As an example, a tyre could have the code P205/65 R16 95 V printed on the side wall, and this is broken down as follows:

P - type of vehicle the tyre was made for (P=Passenger, C=Commercial, LT=Light Truck)

205 - section width of the tyre in millimeters

65 - height of the sidewall described as a percentage of the section width. Larger numbers mean a more comfortable ride. Smaller numbers mean better performance but a harder ride.

R - radial ply construction (steel belts running across the tyre from lip to lip). 98% of tyres today are of radial ply construction as they deliver greater stability, less wear and better fuel economy

16 -- diameter of the wheel rim in inches

95 - load index. The maximum load capacity of the tyre. 95 equates to 690kg (please refer to "Load Index & Speed Rating" below)

V - speed rating. Indicates the maximum speed at which the tyre can carry its rated load. V equates to 240klm/h (please refer to “Load Index & Speed Rating" below)

Load Index & Speed Rating

Reference tables and further information can be found in the “Tyres – Load Index & Speed Rating” section (select from Top).

Tyre Age

Tyres carry a four digit code on the sidewall indicating the week & year of manufacture. For example; 1209 means the tyre was manufactured in the 12th week of 2009.

Other Markings

M&S - mud and snow tyres

DOT codes - (denotes US Dept. Of Transport codes; place of manufacture etc)

E-marks - (European Community codes)

UTQGS - Uniform Tyre Quality Grading System; a system that covers grade markings for tread wear, traction performance & temperature resistance on all tyres manufactured & sold in the US. This system may be shown on tyres sold in Australia and may be "helpful" when buying tyres in Australia, however it cannot be taken as a safety rating or guarantee as to how well a tyre will perform on Australian roads as they are based on tests carried out in the US under very specific conditions for that specific market.

For further information, please speak directly with your professional tyre retailer.