Understanding the Tyre Load Index

Looking after your vehicle means making sure it is safe and comfortable to use. Checking the parameters of your vehicle’s tyres is an important step that shouldn’t be overlooked, and the tyre load index is just one aspect that will need to be investigated before investing in replacement tyres.

But, what is the tyre load index? And why is it important?

What is the tyre load index?

Simply put, a tyre load index describes the maximum load, or weight, that an individual tyre is able to safely carry when inflated to the safe, recommended tyre pressure. Different makes and models of tyres have different tyre load indexes, which is detailed on the sidewall – usually it is displayed as a two or three digit number that follows the numbers describing the dimensions of the tyre.

Why is the tyre load important for drivers?

Overloading tyres can be unsafe and lead to tyre damage. You must ensure that a tyre with a suitable load index is fitted to your vehicle – never affix tyres that have a lower load capacity than recommended.

Recommendations can usually be found in your vehicle handbook, which should detail the appropriate range of load indexes that any new tyres will need, in relation to your specific vehicle. Failure to heed this advice could lead to the fitting of a tyre with an incorrect load index, which could cause problems with insurance, and may even invalidate certain policies.

How to use the tyre load index

On this page, you can view our handy tyre load index chart which outlines the maximum weights attributed to each load index rating – highlighting exactly how much weight a tyre can safely carry. To calculate the total carrying capacity for your car as a whole, simply multiply the single tyre load index by four.  

Watling Tyres are the region’s premier tyre dealer and autocentre. We’ve been operating since 1962, providing a range of tyres for any purpose and any budget. With over 15 branches across Kent, Sussex and Surrey, we’re on hand to serve customers across the region – simply get in touch to arrange your servicing or MOT.


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