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What is a ZR Rating on a Tyre

The letters ZR on the sidewall relate to a tyre’s speed rating, which in this case is 150mph. That means it should not be driven at speeds in excess of 150mph (240kmph) - of course, where such speeds are even legal!

Before 1990, ZR was used for high-performance tyres. It’s no longer typically used, and is now categorised into V, W, Y, or Z ratings. However, you may still see this rating referenced on older tyres, vehicle handbooks, and even some older tyres that are still safe to use.

What is a tyre speed rating?

A speed rating is a code (either one or two letters) that relates to the maximum speed you should drive when those tyres are fitted to your vehicle. The codes are universal, which means every manufacturer will use them the same way.

If the maximum speed is exceeded, there’s risk that the tyre may overheat, which can lead to damage such as a blowout.

On standard road vehicles, the speed rating will generally be above the maximum speed you can drive on British roads (70mph), so if you stick to the speed limit at all times this won’t be anything to worry about.

What’s the difference between an R and ZR rating?

ZR means the tyre has been designed to be driven at speeds of 150mph and above. As mentioned above, ZR is now categorised as:

V - 149mph (240kmph)

W - 168mph (270kmph)

Y - 186mph (300kmph)

R is a separate speed rating, and means the tyres shouldn’t be used for speeds that exceed 106mph (170kmph)

Why is speed rating important?

Certain tyres are designed to cope with the stresses and temperatures that go with driving at certain speeds. Exceeding these speeds is dangerous, and increases the risk of an accident.

Your vehicle’s handbook will outline which tyre ratings your vehicle should use. It’s fine to use tyres with a higher speed rating, but you should not use tyres with a lower speed rating. Doing so may invalidate your insurance, so it’s vital you refer to your handbook before fitting tyres with a different speed rating.

What do speed ratings mean?

The code on your tyre sidewall refers to the maximum speed you should travel when the tyres are being used.

Some of these ratings include:


Rating

Symbol

Speed mph

Speed

km/h

Rating

Symbol

Speed

(mph)

Speed

km/h

P

93

150

H

130

210

Q

99

160

V

149

240

R

106

170

W

168

270

S

112

180

Y

186

300

T

118

190

ZR

150+

240+

U

124

200


For more detailed information, check out our post on tyre speed ratings.

Looking to buy new tyres?

Are you looking to buy new tyres, either with the same or a different speed rating? Just Tyres has a wide selection of tyres available with varying speed ratings, from a range of manufacturers.

To search and buy tyres online that you can use on your vehicle, just enter your reg into our simple tool and it’ll do all the hard work for you.

Customer services: 01908 222208 [email protected] Calls are recorded for training purposes

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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