Popular tyre sizes

  • The UK’s most common tyre size
  • Finding your tyre size
  • Speed & load ratings

What are the most common tyre sizes?

Whilst it’s possible to look at popular tyre sizes there is no such thing as a standard sized tyre. Even if you were to compare two vehicles of the same model & age you might find them to be fitted with different sized tyres. This is because there are various upgrades & specifications available when a vehicle is ordered from the manufacturer. Larger, wider wheels may have been chosen at this point. What’s important when you buy replacement tyres is that they’re exactly the same size as those they are replacing.

The most accurate way to find your tyre size is by checking the number imprinted on the side of your current tyres. Taking a photo of this number with a smart phone is a great tip so you don’t forget the size! It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you own a prestige vehicle such as a Mercedes or BMW you may have larger tyres on the rear than on the front.

Searching for tyres by registration will show all the possible tyre sizes for your vehicle. This is the reason why we always recommend physically checking the numbers on the tyres to confirm the size.

The most common tyre size in the UK is 205 55R16. These numbers show the width of the tyre is 205mm, the profile 55% of that width and the rim (or wheel size) 16 inch.  Don’t forget, your vehicle has been designed & tested with a specific tyre size and to ensure performance and safety are maintained it’s essential to replace with the same size.

The most popular UK tyre sizes

How to find your tyre size

Understanding EU tyre labelling

Which tyres should I buy?

Replacing or servicing TPMS

Budget tyres

Electric vehicle tyres

All-seaon tyres

Winter tyres

Tyre load and speed ratings

Tyre load ratings

The tyre load index rating is the maximum capacity of a passenger car tyre, calculated from the maximum permissible axle load range between two tyres.

It is acceptable to fit a tyre which has a higher load rating than is necessary for your vehicle. You will often find that budget tyres have very high load and speed ratings; this is so they are suitable for a wide range of vehicles.

Never have a tyre fitted which has a lower load rating than is required by your vehicle.

tyre load rating chart
tyre speed rating chart

Tyre speed ratings

A tyre speed rating tells you the maximum speed a tyre is legally approved for. You’ll notice that almost all speed ratings have maximum speeds well above the national speed limit, however it’s still really important to ensure you follow the vehicle’s recommendations when selecting replacement tyres.

This is because the speed rating is based on your vehicle’s performance potential. If you look at your speedometer you should get an indication of the maximum speed your vehicle can travel at. Although you’re never likely to drive at this speed your tyres must have been tested up to it. The speed rating shows the tyre is suitable & safe for the speed of the vehicle it’s fitted on. If you have a tyre fitted with a lower rating you could invalidate your insurance in the event of an accident.