Speed Rating

September 27, 2019

The speed rating tells you the speed the tire can safely maintain over time. A higher speed rating usually means you will have better control and handling at higher speeds — and that the tire can take the extra heat. Generally, tires with higher speed ratings also handle better at slower speeds.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) set the ratings scale, shown below. However, all manufacturers test their own tires and assign their own speed ratings. On the sidewall of every tire, you'll find one of these speed rating codes:

M — Up to 81 mph

N — Up to 87 mph

P — Up to 93 mph

Q — Up to 99 mph

R — Up to 106 mph

S — Up to 112 mph

T — Up to 118 mph

H — Up to 130 mph

V — Up to 149 mph

W — Up to 168 mph

Y — Up to 186 mph

Z — For tires rated above 149 mph, a Z rating may appear in the size designation.

Safety and Speed Ratings
When you get new tires, choose tires with at least the speed rating your car or truck's manufacturer recommends. It's ok to move up to a higher speed-rated tire, but don't go lower. The speeds shown are test speeds; they are not recommended speeds. Please obey speed limits. We want you to be safe.

What does 'Up to' really mean?
Tires can safely sustain speeds of “up to” as specified. However, the tire may be able to reach higher speeds. It is just not recommended or advised to go over.

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