The Tyre Glossary, Driving through the Jargon


At know we that not everyone is a tyre expert and that buying tyres can involve a lot of jargon. We aim to make buying tyres as simple and straightforward as possible and that is why we've created this easy to use glossary of terms. You will find these terms listed in alphabetical order by clicking on the appropriate section below.

If there is any jargon you need clarified and is not listed in our glossary, please let us know and one of our tyre experts will endeavour to translate it for you.


Index of Tyre Terms

Terms A-C, including, Alignment, Aquaplaning and Balancing 

Terms D-O, including, Directional Tyres, Footprint and Oversteer

Terms P-S, including, Profile, Rolling Resistance and Space Saving Tyre

Terms T-Z, including, Tread Depth, Tyre Wall and Understeer

But first, a quick guide to some of the most common Tyre Terms:

Tyre Size: (width, profile, rim size, road rating and speed rating )
It is vital that your vehicle has the correct tyre size fitted. You can check what sizes of tyre are suitable for your vehicle in the manufacturer’s handbook but you must ensure that your vehicle currently has these tyres fitted. You can check your tyre size on your tyre wall.

Centre-less Alloys
Standard alloys designed by Citroen and Peugeot which have no centre. A garage will need a specialist adaptor to balance the tyre when fitted to these alloys - not all fitting centres have this equipment.

Reinforced Tyres
Tyres where the manufacturer has added extra strength the side wall to handle more weight e.g. for heavier vehicles (i.e. SAAB 9-3s or Ford Galaxy’s Renault Laguna)

Tyres which allow a driver to continue a journey in the event of low or no tyre pressure. Please note that Run flats are designed to run for short distances and should be replaced as soon as possible.

Speed Rating
The standardised index which is used to indicate the maximum speed a tyre can sustain carrying the specified load in the load index under the conditions specified by the tyre manufacturer.