How to find out your tyre size

By Julia Freeman

One of the most common questions our tyre professionals get asked by customers is, "What size tyres do I need?"

If you ask people what size tyres are fitted to their vehicle, most will not know straight away. In fact, a large number won't have a clue and won't even know where they should look to find out their tyre size. Even if they did know where the information was, they wouldn't know what the seemingly random letters and numbers really mean.
 
Knowing your tyre size may not be important in day-to-day life, but it is vital if you are looking to buy new tyres! So, if you want to make sure that you purchase the right size for your vehicle and for your safety, here are some things you need to know.

How to check tyre size

One of the easiest options for finding the tyres you need is to simply input your car registration number on our website. You can then choose the right tyre option before moving on in your search. It is also a good idea to check out your tyre size yourself, however. One way to do this is look in your car's manual or search for the label inside your car's driver's door. This will usually have the tyre information you need printed clearly on it.

What size are my tyres?

The other choice, which is also likely to be the simplest, is to look at what tyres you already have on your vehicle, as their size will be printed on the sidewall.

Understanding which size you need

If you don't know what you're looking for, the jumble of numbers and letters on your tyres can be confusing, but this doesn't have to be the case. If your tyres show 167/40R 12 79 H, for example, this provides all of the information you will require.
 
In this instance, the 167 refers to the width of the tyre in millimetres, while the 40 refers to the profile or ratio of your tyres. The 'R' tells you what kind of tyre structure you have - in this instance a 'radial' - and the number 12 denotes the wheel rim's diameter in inches.
 
The next number is the 79, which is your tyre's load index. This tells you the maximum weight that they can handle safely. The final letter H lets you know the highest speed that your tyres can safely tolerate. These ratings go up from A to Y, increasing in increments. H indicates a maximum safe speed of 130.
 
Taking the time to find and understand this information can not only make sure that you get the correct tyres for your vehicle, but it can also ensure you get the best performance and stay safe. Being able to interpret the codes on the tyre wall is a vital step on the road to being able to answer the question 'what size tyres for my car?' with any level of confidence.

What tyres do I need?

If you are looking for something different, in order to improve performance or fuel efficiency, it is vital to ensure that you are purchasing tyres that are within the tolerances set out by your car's manufacturer. If you are experimenting with winter tyres for example, following the information in your owner's manual can make sure that any changes to your tyres will still work effectively.

Book with Protyre

Once you have found out the vital statistics for your tyres, you can use the Protyre tyre finder feature on our website. Select the 'choose by tyre size' option and fill in some of the information written on your existing tyres to find the tyres that you need. You can also use the tab on the Protyre homepage to find a centre near you that can fit your tyres, in many cases on the same day.

If after reading this, you're still asking "What tyres does my car need?", why not book an appointment at your local Protyre garage? Our tyre professionals will be able to carry out a free tyre check, ensuring that your tyres are safe and appropriate for your car, whilst also being able to send you away with a fresh set of Pirelli or Falken tyres, or any other major brand, if they need to be replaced.

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About the author

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By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Retail Marketing for Protyre and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to make sure Protyre is more than just a local garage.
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