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What is a Reinforced Tyre? - A Complete Guide

Reinforced tyres are strong, durable tyres that are capable of carrying heavier loads than standard tyres. Also known as XL tyres, they have a strong internal structure that can withstand heavy loads, while not compromising on grip and handling.

What do reinforced tyres do?

All tyres contain something called beading, which allows the tyre to stay firmly on the wheel rim, and which is strong and heat-resistant. Reinforced tyres have additional beading, which makes them stronger and able to withstand greater loads without coming under too much stress.

They’re also able to hold more air, so heavier loads won’t distort them. However, you should check your vehicle’s handbook for information on what the air pressure should be, so it stays within the recommended PSI.

The characteristics of reinforced tyres

They will generally have larger, chunkier sidewalls, which are rigid to allow them to grip the road and hold additional weight.

They’re useful when off-road driving, but can increase fuel consumption.

Reinforced tyres are identifiable by either having REINFORCED or XL displayed along the sidewall.

Are reinforced tyres the same as run flat tyres?

No, they’re not the same as run flat tyres.

Reinforced tyres are designed to be able to cope with additional weight that you may carry in your vehicle.

Run flat tyres have a strengthened sidewall which allows you to keep using them for a certain amount of time in the event of a puncture. Run flat tyres won’t be able to carry any additional weight, so you shouldn’t use them as an alternative to reinforced tyres.

It’s also important to note that run flat tyres can’t be repaired, so once they experience a puncture they do have to be replaced.

Why are reinforced tyres necessary?

Your tyres have a code on the sidewall that refers to the load index, which is a universal code that tells you exactly how much weight you should carry. If you exceed this weight, it could damage your tyres and potentially lead to a blowout.

If you regularly have to carry loads that are above the maximum weight they’re designed to hold, then reinforced tyres are likely to be exactly what you need.

Which vehicles require reinforced tyres?

So long as they're available in the correct size for your vehicle, you should be able to use them. However, you should consult your vehicle’s handbook to make sure you’re able to fit them before committing.

That being said, they are more commonly seen on vans, 4x4s, large family cars, or any other type of vehicle that is likely to be used to carry heavy loads.

If you do need to use a smaller car to carry a heavier load, such as in the event of a house move, it may be best to make multiple trips, rather than spend money on four reinforced tyres for the sake of a one-off.

The benefits of reinforced tyres

There are a number of positives that mean they’re a great option:

  • They can carry heavier loads than standard tyres
  • They perform well off-road and in harsh conditions
  • They have improved durability, and are great for driving long distances at high speeds
  • Due to their rigidity, they have improved traction and stability, which means handling isn’t compromised

The disadvantages reinforced tyres

Despite the benefits, there are some disadvantages, such as:

  • They can lead to a higher rate of fuel consumption due to the increase of friction and frequent transportation of heavy loads
  • They’rere permitted to be 1dB louder than standard tyres, so you may find that your ride is noisier than usual
  • They are generally more expensive than standard tyres
  • Because they’re rigid, you may find that your ride is a little bumpier

The negatives to reinforced tyres are by far outweighed by the positives, so they are recommended if you regularly carry heavy loads.

Is it worth fitting reinforced tyres to your vehicle?

Yes, but only if you’re likely to be carrying heavy loads on a regular basis. If you have a smaller car, then you won’t take advantage of the benefits that come with them.

It’s illegal for certain vehicles to not use reinforced tyres - this usually applies to vehicles such as vans, certain 4x4s and even some sports cars.

If found to be using standard tyres on a vehicle required to only use reinforced tyres, you may invalidate your insurance. Check your handbook if you’re not sure whether your vehicle should be using them

It is worth noting that reinforced tyres only work as intended if you regularly check to make sure they’re at the correct pressure for carrying extra weight. If not, they will wear quickly.

Looking to buy reinforced tyres?

We have a wide range of tyres available, including reinforced tyres to fit all budgets. Just enter your vehicle reg into our quick and easy tool to get started and buy your tyres online.

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FUEL EFFICIENCY fuel cert

Ratings from A-G
A = Best Fuel Economy

WET GRIP wet grip

Ratings from A-G
A = Best wet weather
performance

NOISE LEVEL noise level

The lower the decibel,
the quieter the tyre