What Does the Speed Ratings T or H Mean on Tires?

What Does the Speed Ratings T or H Mean on Tires

Do you know the codes on the tire sidewalls of your vehicle? Well, if you are a truck owner, knowing the tire codes especially- What does the speed ratings T or H mean on tires of your truck? is very necessary for you. Here, the speed rating T indicates the tire’s top speed up to 118 mph while the H refers to the speed up to 130 mph.

This speed rating refers to the continual speed of the tire of your vehicle that can endure as much as possible without fail.

However, the thing is while changing, if you go for a lower speed rating tire, it probably it won’t last long and will fail sooner. While a higher speed rating tire will provide you a longer tire life depending on your vehicle.

Therefore, in this article, we will provide you with comprehensive detail about these tire codes. So, let’s begin!

A Brief Detail About The Speed Rating Origination

Before you know about the meaning of T or H on tires, here is a brief detail about all the speed ratings on tires and their origination. So, you can better understand the coding system. Surprisingly, there is a twist for you! So, keep reading and try to find out about it!

This speed rating system for car tires was introduced in Europe in the 1960s. And, at that time, only 3 symbols or alphabet letters could be used to denote this rating and they are S, H, and V.

However, with the advancement of tire technology, 28 new speed ratings have been introduced as well. And all those new speed codes are placed one after another according to alphabetical order.

Well, the interesting thing here is that the speed rating- H is an exception in this case. This code wasn’t placed in alphabetical order rather it was placed between the letter U and V.

Generally, the manufacturer of your vehicle sets this rating. And while determining the proper speed class of the tires, they have also looked into some aspects such as riding quality, wear and tear resistance, load index, cornering capacity of the tires, etc.

The reason is this tire speed rating indicates whether the tire of your vehicle can safely bear a load in ideal riding conditions for a certain period of time.

In the case of a higher speed rating tire, it can improve the tire traction while compromising its tread life. Whereas having the lower one means possibly it can increase your vehicle’s tire performance however, it will gradually lower the tire’s top speed.

All right, here is one thing you have to remember that the higher the alphabetical rank rated in the tire, it indicates that it will provide faster speed and also can manage the produced heat better, and the vice-versa except the rating-H.

Well, here is a tire speed rating chart for you showing different speed rating classes, their speeds, and the application as well.

Tire Speed Rating ClassMaximum Speed In mph And km/hVehicle’s Type Application
A13 mph  5 km/h 
A26 mph 10 km/h 
A39 mph 14 km/h 
A412 mph 19 km/h 
A516 mph 26 km/h 
A619 mph 31 km/h 
A722 mph 35 km/h 
A825 mph 40 km/h 
B31 mph 50 km/h 
C37 mph 60 km/h 
D40 mph 64 km/h 
E43 mph  69 km/h 
F50 mph 80 km/h 
G56 mph 90 km/h 
J62 mph 100 km/h 
K68 mph 109 km/h 
L75 mph 120 km/hTrailer Tires for Off-Road and  Light Truck vehicles
M81 mph 130 km/hTemporary Spare Tires
N87 mph 140 km/hSpare Tires
P93 mph 150 km/h 
Q99 mph 160 km/hStudless and Studdable Select Winter Tires
R106 mph 170 km/hPassenger, Heavy-Duty and Light Truck Tires
S112 mph 180 km/hPassenger, Family Sedans, Vans, and Light Truck Tires
T118 mph 190 km/hPassenger, Family Sedans, Minivans, and Light Truck Tires
U124 mph 200 km/hSedans and Coupes
H130 mph 210 km/hPassenger Sedans, Sport Sedans, Coupes, SUV and CUVs tires
V149 mph 240 km/hPerformance Sedans, Sports Sedans,  Coupes, and Sports cars Tires
ZR-rated tiresAbove 149 mph+ or  240 km/h+ 
W168 mph  270 km/h+Performance Sedans, Exotic Sports Cars, Coupes, SUV and CUVs Tires
Y186 mph 300 km/h+Exotic Sports Cars Tires
(Y)Above 186 mph+ 300 km/h+Exotic Sports Cars Tires

So far you have been familiar with these speed rating classes. Now, we will let you know the meaning of T or H on tires. That is our main topic in this article.

What Does the Speed Rating T Mean on Tires?

The speed rating T usually refers to terrain tires indicating endurable tire’s top speeds up to 118 mph or 190 km/h under optimal riding conditions. You usually see this tire’s speed value rated on the sidewalls of your vehicle’s tire.

Knowing this speed rating will help you to understand the tire’s speed while you are driving on various terrain roadways. This T rating is generally considered a standard rating that is mostly attached to small vehicles, light trucks; passenger vehicles such as family sedans and minivans, touring vehicle tires, etc.

Yet, although it’s a terrain tire, it performs well on highways also. And, thus it is placed among the top-ranked higher speed rating classes. However, as its top speed is about 118 mph you can’t use this tire on sport-oriented vehicles.

This is because these types of vehicles need an immense speed that the T-rated tire can’t provide, unfortunately. Moreover, using this T-rated tire will eventually cause wear and tear on the cars very quickly. Besides, it will ultimately cost you more while replace the tire with a new one.

What Does the Speed Rating H Mean on Tires?

In the case of the speed rating H, it usually refers to highway tires which indicate that they can withstand the tire’s top speeds up to 130 mph or 210 km/h under optimal riding conditions.

When you look over the speed rating chart, you will find out that the H-rated tire is ranked in a higher position compared to the T-rated tire as its top speed value is higher than the T-ratings.

You will see this H-rating tire’s speed value rated on the sidewalls of the vehicles having higher horsepower which means that these vehicles need more speed. Therefore, the H-rated tires are mostly used on passenger sedans, sport sedans, coupes, trucks, SUVs, and CUVs tires.

Not only that but also they are used on Luxury vehicles as well. Besides, using this type of tire makes it easier for the driver to drive on the highways and also on off-roads.

Moreover, as the H-rated tire offers a low-speed rating value, this type of tire is also used on the amateur racing car as well for beginner-level of racers. This is because it offers super high-performance while also providing quiet and smooth riding.

Determination of the Tire Speed Rating

Are you wondering how you can determine the tire speed ratings of the tire of your vehicle? Well, have a look at the following table to figure out it-

P225/70R16 99H

PPassenger car
225Width of the tire
70Aspect Ratio of Height to Width of the Tire
16Rim Diameter
99Load Index
HSpeed Rating

The Basic Comparison on T Vs H-rated Tires

When we look at the speed rating chart, we can see that both T and H-rated tires are denoted as the higher-ranked tires according to their speed value.

However, while differentiating between these two specific tires, you will notice that both tires come with different speed ranges, and also their application on the vehicle’s type varies due to their top speed limit.

The H-rated tires can withstand the top speed up to 130 mph or 210 km/h while the T-rated tires can tolerate only 118 mph or 190 km/h.

You can use the H-rated tires on luxury as well as the grand touring category of vehicles, passenger sedans, sports vehicles like amateur racing cars, coupes, SUVs, and CUVs tires. Whereas, the T-rated tires can be used on all of the standard touring as well as all-season categories of vehicles, passenger vehicles like family sedans and minivans, etc.

However, although both T and H speed rating tires provide durable rubber compounds, tire construction T-rated tires offer longer tread life of tires than the H-rated tires based on the mile wear tests. A T-rated tire can easily go up to 118 mph continuously while the H-rated tire can go for a short distance with this speed value.

Moreover, The H-rated tire can provide you with the best cornering ability, super riding comfort, perfect acceleration, smooth and quiet ride, higher braking level capacity, etc. compared to the T-rated tires. While in the case of the T speed rating tire it offers a longer lifespan and a smooth ride on various terrain and off-road.

This Video Will Help You TOO!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Which speed rating tire is better H or T tires?

Which of the H or T tires is better will depend basically on your vehicle type.  If you have a small vehicle requiring lower speed value such as family sedans, light trucks, etc. t-rated tires will be the ideal option for you.

However, if you have a high-performance vehicle requiring higher horsepower for higher speed value such as grand touring vehicles, racing cars, SUVs and CUVs, etc. you will need H-rated tires to prevent the wear out of the tires.

Is there a difference between H/T and A/T tires?

Yes, there lies a subtle difference between H/T and A/T tires. The H/T tires refer to Highway tread tires that provide super highway performance. While the A/T tires refer to all-terrain tires that offer strong off-road traction with a longer tread lifespan.

Can you mix H and T speed rating tires?

Yes, you can, but mixing the H and T-rated tires is highly discouraged. This is because, if you mix these tires, as both of the tires come with different speed values, it will cause premature degradation and wear out of your vehicle’s tire.

Besides, due to these speed ratings mixing up, you may experience an oversteering situation which will ultimately lead to difficult vehicle handling.

What does 99H mean on tires?

If you figure out the 99H speed rating code on the tire of your vehicle, it denotes your tire information. The numerical number 99 indicates the load index of the tire while your vehicle is adequately pressurized. And the alphabetic letter H represents the speed rating class of the tires that is up to 130 mph or 210 km/h.

Final Verdict

So, in this article, your question on the topic-What does the speed ratings T or H mean on tires? – has been answered in detail. Hopefully, by now, you must have figured out what these T or H ratings mean.

Although speed rating of the tire is an important thing, usually, most vehicle owners don’t know about this issue.  As a result, they experience a puncture, wear out, and ultimately damage to the tires of their vehicle. Besides, to repair these issues they also have to spend a lot of money.

So, it is always recommended that you know your tire speed ratings so you can avoid these tire-related issues especially before purchasing any replacements for your vehicle.

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James Noah

Ah! Driving your King has no twist when you have zero knowledge! Yes, Noah is here with his core experiences about trucks, cars, suvs and atvs. Working as a cheif editor for Automasterx to make you satisfied with solid data driven post.

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