Matching your driving environment with your car is an essential aspect of making the most out of your car. If you want to achieve perfect harmony between yourself, your car, and your tires, you also need to pay attention to tire speed ratings.
So, V vs T Speed Rating? V and T speed-rated tires are some of the most widespread tires on the market and we are going to compare them and tell you why you should go for one over the other.
What's In This Guide?
V vs T Speed Rating
A V speed-rated tire is one that can easily endure all the stresses by up to 149mph or 250kph and is one of the most popular tire speed ratings on the current market. This means that going over 149mph is not really something you should do for extended periods of time, but to be frank, there really aren’t many places in the world where you can legally do that anyway.
A T speed-rated tire can withstand all the stresses associated with speeds up to 118mph or 190kph. The main differences between these two ratings are, obviously, the speed rating, how long they last, how well they handle, how well they fare during winter time, and how comfortable they are.
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What Are The Benefits Of V Speed-Rated Tires?
- Higher top speed
- Better handling
- Better acceleration and stopping
- Better stress management
Are V Speed-Rated Tires High-Speed Tires?
Given the fact that 149mph is a speed not many cars can reach, we can wholeheartedly say that a V speed-rated tire is indeed a high-speed tire. This does not mean that V speed-rated tires can’t exceed these speeds, it’s more the fact that you shouldn’t be doing that. If you do, you could potentially face structural tire issues caused by excessive heat and friction.
You can exceed 149mph for a few seconds and the tire will be absolutely fine. The dangers of going faster than 149mph are only relevant when you do that for an extended time. However, if you really need to go faster than 149mph, even for a few seconds, it’s a better idea to upgrade your tire speed ratings accordingly.
Are V Speed-Rated Tires Good For Handling?
Compared to T speed-rated tires, V speed-rated tires are certainly the better choice if you are after a tire that can handle better. The reason why V speed-rated tires handle better is primarily that they are designed and built with a different type of compound construction which affects the tire flexibility. The sidewalls of high-speed rated tires tend to be stiffer which helps during tight turns.
Such sidewalls also flex less because they are stiffer which lowers the overall body roll and enables the car to stay level while cornering. This inevitably means that V speed-rated tires should, in theory, handle considerably better than T speed-rated tires.
Are V Speed-Rated Tires Performance Tires?
V speed-rated tires are certified for speeds exceeding most limitations which means that these are designed to be used on higher-performance cars. 149mph is seriously fast which means that not too many cars can reach these speeds comfortably. Tire manufacturers know that and that is why they usually design V speed-rated tires with general high-performance tire benefits in mind.
This means that V speed-rated tires should accelerate better by putting the power down more evenly across all driven wheels. This also means that V speed-rated tires should be able to stop at a shorter distance as well.
Do V Speed-Rated Tires Withstand Stress Well?
Likely the main difference between high speed-rated and low speed-rated tires (besides speed), is how well they endure stresses associated with heat and friction. Due to different manufacturing methods and materials, V speed-rated tires do withstand stress a lot better than T speed-rated tires. They can endure constant rolling at higher speeds without suffering as much damage as a T speed-rated tire.
What Are The Benefits Of T Speed-Rated Tires?
- More comfortable
- Better during winter
Are T Speed-Rated Tires Comfortable?
T speed-rated tires are a perfect middle ground between true high-speed tires and regular “normal” speed tires because they are limited to 118mph. This means that these tires should be comfortable at all speeds up to 118mph. We have already talked about the different manufacturing methods and materials associated with high-speed tires which are almost the exact opposite of lower speed-rated tires.
This means that T speed-rated tires are indeed more comfortable than V speed-rated tires, but that does not mean that all T speed-rated tires are inherently comfortable. Moreover, T speed-rated tires are usually quieter than V speed-rated tires.
Are T Speed-Rated Tires Cheaper Than V Speed-Rated Tires?
High-performance tires come at a substantial premium which means that a higher speed-rated tire is also likely the more expensive one as opposed to a slower tire. You also need to keep in mind that high speed-rated tires are nowhere near as popular which also pushes the price up due to well-known supply & demand fluctuations.
As such, a T speed-rated tire is more popular, more people want them and hence they cost a bit less. However, a tire speed rating is only a single element that goes into determining the final tire price so it does not really play a pivotal role in pricing.
Are T Speed-Rated Tires Better During Winter Time?
One of the most noticeable differences between high speed-rated tires and low speed-rated tires is how they endure stress. Given the fact that wintertime presents a totally different set of challenges, such as withstanding freezing temperatures, high and low speed-rated tires differ substantially.
On one hand, a high speed-rated tire is designed to cope with stresses associated with immense heat while proper winter tires are designed to cope with stresses associated with freezing temperatures.
Do T Speed-Rated Tires Last A Long Time?
High-performance tires are designed for higher performance which means that they have a different set of priorities over most regular tires. Because they are designed to withstand friction and heat better, it means that they aren’t as focused on regular longevity. Even though the differences between V and T speed-rated tires aren’t substantial, they do make a difference in the long run.
Which Cars Are Designed For V Speed-Rated Tires?
A V speed-rated tire can usually be found on sporty sedans and coupes. Many touring tires are rated for up to 149mph which means that you can often find these on SUVs, crossovers, and estates. You should go for V speed-rated tires if you often drive on a highway as V speed-rated tires withstand stresses better than T speed-rated tires at virtually all speeds.
So, even though you aren’t exceeding the limit, you are still using a better tool for the job, even if the speeds are two times lower. That is of course if your priorities are centered around performance, traction, and handling.
Which Cars Are Designed For T Speed-Rated Tires?
T speed-rated tires can commonly be found on sedans, coupes, SUVs, crossovers, estates, and sometimes even MPVs and certain vans. You can find T speed-rated tires in virtually all shapes and sizes because these are some of the world’s most popular tire speed ratings. They should be able to last a bit longer and that is why most people choose them over V speed-rated tires.
So, for speeds up to 118mph, a T speed-rated tire is likely the preferred choice for many people as it comes with a set of advantages over V speed-rated tires people deem more important.
Where Can I Find A Tire Speed Rating?
A tire speed rating can easily be seen stamped directly onto the tire sidewall with the rest of the tire sizing and compliance codes. A standard tire code looks something like this: P 265/55 R19 113V. The very last letter “V” represents the tire speed rating which, in this case, is 149mph. This code works the same way no matter the speed rating. If you want to know which speed ratings exist and how they compare, click here.
At the end of our “V vs T Speed Rating” article, we can easily say that one speed rating is not necessarily better than the other. Even though most people believe the higher the rating – the better the tire, that is not exactly the case. It all boils down to what you value more, comfort, longevity, and a broader spectrum of usability over performance, top speed, and handling.
Therefore, be sure to tailor your tires according to what you value more in the same way as you would when going out for a run or to the opera. The essential aspect of making the right choice is solely based on which set of benefits and drawbacks are more in line with what you need from a car.