Can I Use A Tyre With A Higher Load Rating?

Many motorists always wonder about the load rating of their vehicle tyres, and that’s why they ask “can I use a tyre with a higher load rating?” This is because most drivers are not aware that every vehicle has its own defined load rating for their tyres.

If drivers know, they wouldn’t attempt to fit the wrong tyre size. However, it’s vital to know your vehicle load rating recommended by your car manufacturer and adhere strictly to the set out rules on your vehicle’s handbook. The reason is that load rating is a vital component of any tyre and I don’t advice anyone to move to a lower load rating.

When you move to a lower load rating, your insurance can be rendered null and void. When you choose a load rating that is lower than it is specified for your vehicle, then there will be a problem.

But in case you intend choosing a higher load rating tyre, then you can. But it may lead you to a slightly less comfortable driving experience.

So Can I Use A Tyre With A Higher Load Rating?

Yes, you can use a tyre with a higher load rating. But the only thing is that it may lead you to a slightly less comfortable driving experience. So what if I buy a tyre with a smaller load index than my original specifications? Will I be able to use tyres with a lower load index? My answer is a no.

My reason is because tyres with a lower load index than the OE specifications will not be able to support the weight of your vehicle and its load.

Note that whenever you overload your tyres, you put your tyres at risk of:

·  Too much stress of the casing and construction, especially when it is combined with driving on hot summer roads

·  Having tyre failure and a blowout

Independent technical tyre organization guidelines show that new tyres shouldn’t be downgraded in load rating from the tyres placed on a vehicle by the car manufacturer.

So this means that you can use a tyre with higher load rating since the tyre can carry more weight safely, but you should not use low load rating tyres.

Tyre Speed Rating

can i use a tyre with a higher load rating

When you see an image of tyre speed rating, you may not understand what tyre speed rating is all about. However, tyre speed rating happens to be the maximum speed that a tyre is legally approved to be driven at, and this will be based on the manufacturer’s recommended load index that’s seen on the tyre.

Note that these tyre speed ratings are based on practical tests carried out by engineers during the design of the new tyres. This ensures the tyres can safely reach high speeds while in use.

Is A Higher Load Rating Better?

Yes, it is better. A higher load rating tyre can help to improve your vehicle’s cornering abilities because of the increase in stability and control. Though passengers will not be very comfortable in the car, and the vehicle will be using more gas due to the increase in friction.

Can I Use A Tyre With A Lower Load Rating?

So what if I buy a tyre with a lower load rating than my original specifications? Can I use a tyre with a lower load rating? My answer is a no.

The reason is because tyres with a lower load rating than the OE specifications will not be able to support the weight of your vehicle and its load.

Different Load Rating On Tyres

Using different load ratings on tyres is possible if only the speed symbols and load index are higher than the minimum threshold which is recommended by the vehicle producers. If this is true, then fit the higher-rated tyres to the rear axle.

However, you can find the different load rating on tyres via the sidewall, just at the right of the tyre’s diameter.

Note that load ratings and speed ratings must be inspected whenever you are buying a new tyre. For instance, any tyre with a load rating of 91 can carry 615kg of weight. But make sure you check your manufacturer’s recommendations first.

Tyre Load Rating Chart

Here is tyre load rating chart that informs you what the weight that each index specification can carry:

tyre load rating chart

Tyre Load Rating Calculator

A tyre load rating calculator is what shows you the maximum permitted load capacity (in kg or lb) any tyre can carry, and this is specified by its load index. It is a numeric code which informs you the maximum weight (in kg or lb) that a tyre can carry whenever the tyre is inflated at its maximum permitted air pressure which is recommended by the tyre manufacturer.

Wrong Load Rating Tyres

When you use wrong load rating tyres, your tyres may wear faster than expected which can increase the cost of your car maintenance. There could be risks when driving. This is because too much load on a tyre can lead to having tyre blowout which can consequently cause accidents on the road.

You might also lose driving stability by experiencing car handling problems and reduced comfort.

Tyre Load Rating D

Tyre load rating D only offers more capacity when they are inflated to the higher-rated design pressure. Any truck with tyre load rating D can be driven with the lower air pressure for a comfortable ride and inflated to full pressure whenever the load capacity is required.


For you not to ask, “can I use a tyre with a higher load rating”? Make sure you always buy a speed rating tyre that fits your vehicle recommendation, and also ensure that all four tyres have the same rating.

Speed ratings are based on laboratory tests under specific, controlled conditions. While these tests relate to performance on the road under those conditions, remember that real-life driving is rarely identical to test conditions.

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