Finding the Right Tyre Size – Tyre Size Explained

Tyre Size Explained – How to find the Right Tyre

With thousands of tyres available, choosing the right tyre for your vehicle and individual driving needs may seem frustrating. In this guide ‘Tyre Size Explained’ we will tell you everything you need to know.

Tyre Size

Firstly, discover your vehicle’s tyre size. You can find this on your tyre and in your vehicle’s handbook. It looks something like this:

Tyre Size Image Explained

What do the numbers mean?

Section Width

The width of the tyre in millimetres.

Aspect ratio

The ratio of the tyre’s width to height, as a percentage.
What do I need to know?
A low profile tyre (short sidewall vs width) gives a firmer ride with better handling, but tends to be noisier and more expensive than tyres with a higher aspect ratio.

Rim diameter

The diameter of the rim which the tyre is to be fitted to, in inches.

Load rating

Indicates the maximum load that the tyre can support.

Speed rating

The speed rating indicates the maximum speed at which the tyre can carry a load in relation to its load rating.

Code mph Code mph
Q 100 V 149
R 106 Z Over 149
S 112 W 168
T 118 (W) Over 168
U 124 Y 186
H 130 (Y) Over 186

Quality and Price

Once you have the correct tyre size for your vehicle, you’ll need to think about the quality of tyre that will you need. All tyres on sale in the UK will meet strict safety standards, however a better quality tyre will last more miles and give you a better driving experience. At Hills we sell a variation of different quality tyres. Ranging from brand new to used.

Premium tyres

Premium tyres will generally last for 14,000 to 20,000 miles under normal usage. This is due to their high quality production.

High research and funding, design and technology means that premium tyres benefit from improved stopping distances, fuel economy, grip and lower noise levels.

Try Bridgestone, Continental, Dunlop, Goodyear, Michelin or Pirelli.

Mid-range tyres

If premium tyres are far too pricey you might want to try mid-range tyres. The brands may not be quite as well known as the premium brands, but you still get a good tyre for the money.

Mid-range can provide great value for money and depending on the type of driving that you do they can also prove to have a long life span.

Try Avon, BF Goodrich, Falken, Firestone, Hankook, Kumho, Toyo, Uniroyal or Yokohama.

Budget tyres

In summer, budget tyres will be fine and just as good as premium tyres, however they will normally only last for 7,000 to 8,000 miles and will not perform as well in wet or winter like conditions.

Try Landsail, Goodride, Evergreen or Autogrip.

Vehicle type

Cars, vans, 4x4s and camper vans all require specific tyres, so make sure you have the right type for your vehicle


Run flat tyres must only be fitted to cars that they are designed for. They are designed to keep you moving for a short time should you suffer a puncture.

Most drivers in the UK keep summer tyres on their car all year round, but you may wish to consider winter tyres or all-season tyres for optimum performance.

Ready to find some tyres?

Use our parts request system to send a request straight through to our Tyre Bay Team.