Can I change the size of my tyres?


Cars and light commercial vehicles are designed with a specific wheel and tyre size. And this is for good reason! The specification covers performance, comfort, load capability, handling and most importantly - the rolling circumference. This is the distance a tyre travels in one full revolution.

On some vehicles it is possible to alter the sizing, however on most modern vehicles, unfortunately the answer is generally a NO.

Why, you ask? Well.... there's a number of reasons. Firstly, there simply isn't a great deal of space left within the wheel arches of current cars! As tyres have become larger and wider, space has reduced - massively!

And besides, it's all about the rolling circumference! You can only alter it by around 2% either way or you're going to have issues! We'll come back to that....

Can I change the size of my wheels?

With regards to changing the actual wheel size - for example if you were to change from a 16 inch wheel size to 18 inch wheels, you would generally just need to ensure the rolling circumference stays the same (or within that 2%). If this is something you're considering doing (or even downsizing!) but you're not sure on which sizes tyres to go for (or if it will even work), the best way to get an idea is to call us!


What happens if I put the wrong size tyres on my vehicle?

If the tyres are too small, the wheels will rotate faster which will have consequences with regards to gearing (how the car delivers power) - and also your speedometer read out will be showing faster than you're actually travelling.

if your rolling circumference is too large then this will all go the other way, the wheels will rotate slower - therefore resulting in your speed showing slower than you are actually driving, which for obvious reasons is not a good idea, nobody needs an unexpected speeding fine in the post!

When would changing your tyre sizes not really cause an issue?

Green-laners (4x4 owners who often modify their vehicles to allow for off road fun) have big 4x4 tyres, With modifications made to the vehicle body, and loads of space, tyre sizes can often be dramatically increased! These guys seldom need to be concerned about comfort, road holding or cornering or accurate speed reading!

Reasons people may want to change their tyre size

Pimp My Ride - large wheels and low profile tyres, this may look good but the major negative behind this is the car may not be designed to carry this size wheel and by doing this to the vehicle it could prematurely wear other components.

Some people change their tyre sizes because they think it will increase grip or performance, which it seldom ever does. On the opposite scale they may wish to narrow the tyres for winter use, if you're on 19 inch wheels you could in some cases go down to 17 inch wheels with a narrower tyre which would allow for a better grip in the snow. Providing that all important rolling circumference remains within its boundaries, this is ok!

Why should I NOT change my tyre size?

There really is no real need! Manufacturers chose these sizes for a reason - let's not question them! If you still need some advice or have some questions on changing the size of your tyres, just give our friendly team a call on 0333 444 5454! Or to order the correct size tyre for your vehicle, head back to our homepage and check what we have in your size!


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