Skip to content

Effective 1 March 2024, Tyrewise – the nationwide Tyre Stewardship scheme will come into effect in New Zealand. Click here to read more.

Menu Hamburguer Close

Tyres Decoded

At Advantage Tyres, we understand the importance of selecting the right tyres for your vehicle. We offer a wide range of OEM tyres that match your car’s specifications, ensuring optimal performance in braking, handling, and fuel efficiency. It’s crucial to check tyre size when considering replacements to maintain roadworthiness. Let us help you find the perfect fit for your vehicle.

What to look for? When inspecting the side wall of your tyre (the flat space above the rim) you’ll notice important-looking markings and symbols. These markings contain important information about your tyre.

It appears in this order:

Advantage Tyre Markings1


The first number on your tyre tells the cross-sectional width, in millimeters, from sidewall to sidewall. The width directly affects the tyre’s contact patch—the portion of the tyre that makes contact with the road. Wider tyres generally provide more contact area, which can enhance traction and handling, especially in dry conditions. However, wider tyres may cause reduced fuel efficiency compared to narrower tyres.

Advantage Tyre Markings Width


The profile of a tyre refers to the aspect ratio or the relationship between the tyre’s sidewall height and its width which is expressed as a percentage of the tyre width. For example, if a tyre has a profile designation of 55, this means that the height of the tyre’s sidewall is 55% of its width. Higher profile (over 50%) is more common in  passenger vehicles, SUVs, and trucks, with greater fuel efficiency and a smoother ride, while lower profiles (less than 50%) are more commonly seen in high-performance or sport-oriented vehicles for improved grip, braking, and handling for exhilarating high-performance driving experiences.

Advantage Tyre Markings Profile


After the profile number, a letter reveals the construction method of the tyre. The most common type of tyre construction is radial ply (R). Known for its strength, radial ply as it criss-crosses in layers. It’s the popular choice for passenger vehicles, ensuring reliable performance on the road. Other common tyre constructions are bias ply (B), which provides a robust and stiff tyre sidewall for heavy duty applications, and bias belted (BB), which combines aspects of radial and bias constructions for a balance between durability and performance.

Advantage Tyre Markings Construction

Rim Size

You will notice a numerical value that represents the rim size. This figure is expressed in inches and indicates the diameter of the wheel rim. Essentially, it measures the distance between the two opposite edges of the wheel rim. For instance, if you come across a number like ’15’, it signifies that the rim size is 15 inches in diameter.  Choosing the correct rim size is crucial because it ensures a proper fit between the tyre and the wheel. An incorrect rim size can cause handling issues, compromised safety, and potential damage to the tyre or wheel.

Advantage Tyre Markings Rim

Load Index

The load index is denoted by a 2 to 3-digit code. This code specifies the maximum weight that your tyre can safely bear while maintaining full speed, with a higher number meaning a higher load capacity. It is important to note that this capacity is contingent upon the tyre being in good condition, correctly installed, and inflated to the recommended pressure, and should match or exceed the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended load requirements. See our table below for the full list of load indexes.

Advantage Tyre Markings Load

Speed Rating

The Speed Rating is represented by the final letter on your tyre. It consists of a code that is accompanied by the load index and indicates the maximum speed that your tyre can withstand before experiencing failure. Each letter corresponds to a specific speed range, with higher letters in the alphabet indicating higher speeds. It is generally recommended to match the speed rating of the replacement tyres to the original equipment tyres. See our table below for the full list of speed ratings.

Advantage Tyre Markings Speed

Van And Mountain In Queenstown New Zealand

Find Tyres &
Book a Fitting

Not sure what you need?

 Load Index

What does my tyre’s load index mean?

The load index indicates the maximum weight capacity of a tyre at its full speed, considering proper installation, inflation, and tyre condition. To help you better understand, we have provided a comprehensive table below showcasing the load index and the corresponding maximum load per tyre. Trust Advantage Tyre to ensure your tyres are equipped to handle the demands of your vehicle.

Load Index Max Load (kg) Load Index Max Load (kg) Load Index Max Load (kg) Load Index Max Load (kg) Load Index Max Load (kg) Load Index Max Load (kg)
60 250 85 515 110 1060 135 2180 160 4500 185 9250
61 257 86 530 111 1090 136 2240 161 4625 186 9500
62 265 87 545 112 1120 137 2300 162 4720 187 9750
63 272 88 560 113 1150 138 2360 163 4875 188 10000
64 280 89 580 114 1180 139 2430 164 5000 189 10300

Tyre Speed Symbol

What does my tyre’s speed symbol mean?

The Speed Index, the last letter on your tyre, reveals the maximum speed it can handle without compromising performance. It’s a secret code that guarantees thrilling rides. Each letter represents a specific speed limit. Check out our exciting table below showcasing the speed symbols for passenger tyres. Get ready to embrace the road with confidence and exhilaration!

Speed Symbol Rating Speed Symbol Rating (km/h)
E 70 R 170
F 80 S 180
G 90 T 190
J 100 U 200
K 110 H 210
L 120 V 240
M 130 W 270
N 140 Y 300
P 150 Z 240+

Extra Tyre Abbreviations

Some tyres may have extra numbers and letters

For portraying important information such as the size and specifications of the tyre. Also to prove that each tyre has passed necessary safety standards.

Hd Terrain T A 1 Massive

  • – BMW spec
  • LRR – Low Rolling Resistance
  • LT – Light Truck construction
  • LWT – Line White Tubeless
  • M+S – Mud and snow condition
  • MOE – Mercedes Original Equipment
  • N* – Porsche specification
  • OD – The overall diameter of your unloaded tyre in mm
  • OWT – Outline White Letters Tubeless
  • RBT – Raised Black Letters Tubeless
  • RFT – Run Flat Technology
  • RWT – Raised White Letters Tubeless
  • SSR – Self Supporting Run Flat
  • TL – Tubeless
  • TT – Tube Type
  • XL – Extra Load

Tyre Technologies

These are just a few examples of the extra technologies that can be found in modern tyres. The tyre industry continues to innovate and integrate new technologies into their tyres to improve safety, performance, and functionality in different applications and industries.

Advantage Tyre Technology

  • Bluetooth Tyres – Bluetooth-enabled tyres, also referred to as “smart tyres,” are an emerging technology introduced by certain tyre manufacturers. These tyres are equipped with Bluetooth sensors that enable real-time monitoring and transmission of crucial information such as tyre pressure, temperature, and other relevant data to a driver’s smartphone or compatible device.
  • Run Flat Tyres – When driving with a punctured tyre, the loss of pressure can result in a dangerous situation, compromising your steering control and posing risks to both yourself and others on the road. However, Run Flat tyres provide a safer solution by allowing you to continue driving without sudden deflation, enabling you to reach a secure location. Learn more about Run Flat technology.
  • VF Tyres – VF (Very High Flexion) tyres are a specialized category of agricultural tyres that have been developed to enhance performance and efficiency for farmers. These tyres are specifically designed to operate at significantly lower pressures, enabling a larger tyre footprint and improved weight distribution. As a result, VF tyres can help reduce soil compaction and enhance traction in agricultural applications.
  • RFID Tyre – RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tyres are equipped with RFID tags that utilize radio waves to transmit tyre-related information to a reader device. These tags consist of a small chip and antenna embedded within the tyre. With RFID technology, it becomes possible to track the location of the tyre, monitor tyre pressure and temperature, and even detect signs of wear and tear.

Other Tyre Markings

You may have noticed that it’s not just the larger string of numbers and letter that we mentioned above. Tyres include these additional markings to provide more information to consumers:

Brand: The brand manufacturer will often be the largest writing on your tyre.

Tread Pattern: Each tyre model has a unique tread pattern name which refers to the specific design of the grooves, blocks and channels on the tyre surface.

Country of Manufacture: The Tire Identification Number (TIN) code is typically a three-letter code, with the last two letters representing the country where the tyre was produced.

Tread Wear Indicators: You may find the letters TWI on the tread, instead of the sidewall. These are small markers which serve as a visual indicator of wear. If you can see it clearly, it’s time for a new set.

Manufacturing Date Code: This four digit code indicates the week in which the tyre was made (first two digits), and the year (the last two digits). This is important for determining its age and lifespan.

Michelin Brand


8 Point Safety Check

Your safety on the road is important to us and that’s why at Advantage we perform free 8 Point Health Checks on all vehicles.

Book today

Home to NZ’s Finest Brands



Innovation is in Michelin’s DNA. That's why drivers, manufacturers, motorsport actors and key opinion leaders ask for their tyres.



Engineered by people with a passion for driving, BF Goodrich tyres embody the spirit of adventure and excellence, and are crafted for tyre enthusiasts worldwide.



Hankook is an acclaimed tyre manufacturer, who makes premium quality products for motorsports enthusiasts to enjoy the world over



New Zealand’s leading brand of tyre, offering advanced tyre technology, safe motoring practices, and excellent on road handling.



Famous world over for being at the forefront of tyre technology. Whether it’s winning at the Grand Prix, or having tyres on the moon.



Hifly offers an extensive selection of tires for all seasons, including summer and winter options.