If you have ever bought car tyres before, you obviously have seen the sequence of number and letter variations that are used to differentiate tyres by size. Something like: 195/65R15 95H or thereabouts…Ever wondered what all these mean? Is it just a way of confusing people or do the number/letter combinations have meaning?

In this short guide, we tell it all – what those number/letter combinations mean and how they help you choose the best tyre for the job.

Let’s get started.

Why are the numbers written as they are?

If you are like me (…loving straight-forward simplicity…), you may have wondered why the size isn’t just written simply – for example: “size 15” or “size 18” – why does it have to be the way it is? Well, what you see molded onto the tyre wall is a sort of universal code of tyre information description which goes on to ensure that different tyre makers, whether they are located in China or right here in Kenya follow a set standard.

And now that we’ve gotten that settled, let’s go about understanding this sizing code. For our purposes, we shall use the following tyre size:195/65R15 95H.

195 – is simply the sectional width of the tyre in millimetres (in this case 195 mm).

65 – indicates its aspect ratio, a comparison of the tyre’s sectional height with its section width (65 indicates the height is 65% of its width).

R – is the type of ply construction – in this case, it’s radial

15 – indicates the diameter of the wheel rim (15 inches, others are 18 inches and even 22 inches for something like a Toyota LandCruiser V8).

95H – indicates the maximum load capacity and speed at which the tyre can be safely operated (in our case 95 represents a maximum load of 690kg per tyre; H represents a maximum speed of 210km/h).

Recommendation

Since different tyres are made for different uses and car types, it is very important that you always consult with your tyre dealer so that you also get professional advice from them regarding the use for which your car tyres will be put through.

All the same, we hope we’ve enlightened you a bit more on tyre sizes (if you didn’t know before).