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What Are Tire Speed Ratings?

Close-up to a car tire to explain the numbers on the side to portray what is H or V rating on tires.

You might think that your speedometer is the only thing you need to look at when determining how fast your car can go, but you should also look at the tire speed rating, especially when it comes to matters of auto insurance. If this is the first time you have heard of this, you probably have some questions. Let’s dive in so that you can understand how they work.

Tire Speed Ratings Explained

Tire speed ratings consist of one or two letters that let you know the maximum speed the wheel can maintain while performing as it should. It might have the ability to reach speeds higher than the rating, but the excess will put stress on the tire. This will impact its control and handling.  

For instance, a wheel with a Q rating can safely handle speeds up to 99 mph. You might be able to push the tire to speeds of 110 mph, but you run the risk of losing control of the vehicle and having an accident. That’s why you should always know your tire speed rating when driving. 

What Is the H or V Rating on Tires?

If you drive a sports car or sports sedan coupe, you probably have performance-touring tires. That means your wheels have a speed rating of H or V. These tires were created to perform at high speeds. Wheels with an H-rating can withstand speeds of up to 130 mph, making them suitable for a sports sedan coupe. V-rated tires can handle up to 149 mph, so they are ideal for sports cars. 

Tire Speed Rating S Vs. T

Maybe you prefer a sedan or minivan. If that’s the case, your tire speed rating is likely to be an S or a T. The first can maintain speeds of up to 112 mph, while T rated wheels can take up to 118 mph. 

front view of row if tires with speed ratings

What Is the Best Tire Speed Rating?

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all speed rating. The one you need depends on your vehicle. However, there are standard speed ratings for specific vehicle types. These are commonly considered the best speed ratings.

Wheels with a T speed rating are the most popular for sedans and minivans, while H is the usual choice for the sports sedan coupe. If you have a sports car, you will likely have a V rated tire. However, you can increase the speed by getting wheels with a W or V rating. The ones with a W rating can go up to 168 mph, while ones with a Z rating can go up to 186 mph. Unless you are racing high-performance sports cars, you probably won’t need wheels with such a high-speed rating. 

Is the Speed Rating of a Tire Important? 

The speed rating of a tire is important. The letter symbolizes how much speed your wheels can safely handle. Find out what your rating is and don’t go any faster than that. 

If you are getting ready to hit the road again, make sure you have the car insurance coverage you need. Freeway can help you find the perfect policy for you, get a free car insurance quote online, over the phone, or at one of our offices near you.

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