Homologated tyres is a way of saying that a tyre model has been officially designed for a specific vehicle and approved by the car manufacturer for use on that model.
The word comes from the Latin homologat–, meaning ‘agreed’, and is used when something needs to have an official set of criteria met in order to be agreed to.
In other words, they’re tyres that have been tested and signed off for your car.
Approved fitment tyres at your local Kwik Fit centre
Your local Kwik Fit stocks a wide range of specialist fitment tyres for specific car manufacturers including BMW, Audi, Mercedes and many others. What’s more, most homologated tyre models that aren’t immediately available can be ordered to the centre within a day.
Looking for Homologated tyres? Look for this icon when searching for tyres.
This icon tells you that the tyres are designed specifically for that make of car. You will also find the name of the manufacturer that the tyres are designed for alongside the icon.
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What does homologation mean on tyres?
Homologated tyres indicate that a tyre model has been formally created for a certain vehicle and has been approved for use on that model by the car manufacturer.
Homologation and original equipment
With tyres, this specific set of criteria is decided by each manufacturer and is intended to meet the challenges posed by each individual vehicle model. Certain models are built for city driving, others for hard off-roading, and others somewhere in between – and each of these purposes have vastly different requirements in equipment.
The process also results in what’s often called “Original Equipment” (OE/OEM), approved fitment, or manufacturer fitment tyres and can sometimes take up to three years from design, to testing, to adjustments, to final approval.
A premium tyre manufacturer will usually develop a prototype tyre that will meet general requirements for a set of purposes – something like a “general” off-road tyre. This is then tested by individual car manufacturers to assess things they’d like tweaked. Tyres built for off-roading will usually need to be heavy, thick, and have significant grip – but these same tyres for stop-start city driving become a significant fuel drain as they grip the road far more than necessary.
Are homologated tyres better than generic tyres?
All this testing happens for a reason, an approved fitment tyre isn’t developed just to work for a particular situation (such as only when off-roading or driving in wet weather), it’s to give your vehicle some real benefits in any conditions compared to generic fitments.
There are two main benefits to manufacturer approved tyres:
- The extensive testing with your particular vehicle means the tyres are significantly safer to use in almost any situation compared to non-approved tyres. This means that they’re much less likely to blow out, to degrade unexpectedly, or to cause problems through poor handling.
- As a result of the generally better build quality of OEM tyres – or at least better suitability for your vehicle – they’re also better performers. They often enable your car to have much better grip on the road, have much shorter braking distances, and last much longer compared to non-manufacturer fitments.
These are the benefits you can measure though. You can test the grip, the stopping distances, and other benefits. What’s harder to measure – and what’s really a third crucial benefit – is the cost savings.
People often assume that OEM tyres are more expensive than others, and at the point of purchase they’re right. But the fact that manufacturer fitment tyres last significantly longer usually makes them cheaper over their lifetime compared to budget models that you may need to replace every 1-2 years.
How do you know if a tyre model is homologated?
Like with a significant amount of information about a specific tyre, the best place to start is by looking at the tyre markings themselves. You’ll likely be familiar with the first few numbers on the tyre; these indicate the size of the tyre. But the other symbols, letters, and numbers also have meaning.
Different manufacturers use different symbols to indicate that a particular tyre is homologated – here’s a list of the most common symbols:
|AR, ARR, AZ
|AM2, AM4, AM8, AM9, AMP, AMS, AMV, AMX, A2A, A4A, A5A, A7A, A8A
|AO, AOE, AO1, AO2
|B, B1, BC, BL
|BMW & Mini
|BMW Electric & Nio
|F, F01, F02, F03, K1, K2, K3
|LR, LR1, LRO
|MO, MOE, MO-S, M3, MOV
|N0, N1, N2, N3, N4, N5, N6, NA0, NA1, NA5, ND0, NE0, NF0
|(Plus), VO, VW, VW1, VW2, GTI
Find tyres for your car
While homologated tyres are highly recommended for use with your particular car model, you’re not often bound to using them (though will usually be missing out on significant benefits as a result). To search a range of tyres suitable for your car, see our tyre finder tool.