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Understanding manufacturer markings on tyres

Among the many markings on tyre sidewalls, there is one category in particular that deserves your attention: the manufacturer approval marking or homologation. But what is this marking for and do all manufacturers have one? rezulteo explains all!
Star-BMW-marking

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What is a manufacturer approved tyre?

Approved tyres, also known as homologated or original equipment (OE) tyres, are developed by tyre manufacturers in partnership with car manufacturers to fit the technical requirements of a specific vehicle and optimise its performance. You will often find this type of marking on tyres designed for sports or high-performance vehicles from brands such as Porsche, Ferrari, Audi and Mercedes.

There are two types of manufacturer approval:

  • mandatory approval: whereby the car manufacturer imposes a specific brand and tyre profile for its models, (these tyres cannot be fitted on any other car type).
  • technical approval: whereby the car manufacturer recommends a brand or tyre profile for its models (a technically approved tyre can be fitted to other vehicles in accordance with the conditions laid down by the manufacturer).

Which manufacturers use approval markings?

Homologated OE tyres can be identified by a marking on the sidewall, which differs depending on the manufacturer. Here is a non exhaustive list of the main markings on approved tyres:

Audi

AOE, RO1, AO1, AUDI, RO2, AO2, RO3, AO  

Alfa Romeo

AR, ARR

Aston Martin

AMX, AMR, AML, AM2, AM6, AM4, AMP, AMS, A6A, AM5, AM9, AM8, AMV 

Bentley

B, BC, BL, BL1, B1

BMW

BMW, M3, *

Chrysler

C1

Ferrari

K2, K3, K1, F01, F, F03, F02

Ford

FO2, FO1, FO

Jaguar

J, JRS

Lamborghini

L

Land Rover

LR, LR1, LRO, LRO1

Lancia

LZ

McLaren

MC, MC1

Mercedes

MOE, MO-V, MO, MO1 

Maserati

MGT

Opel

OP, OP1

Peugeot Citroën

SI

Porsche

NA0, N0, N1, N2, N3, N4, N5, N6

Renault

RE

Toyota

A

Volkswagen

VO

What if I don’t want to fit approved tyres on my vehicle?

Legally speaking, you are under no obligation to fit homologated tyres on your car. You can fit any tyre, as long as it is the correct size with compatible load and speed ratings and has the standard European approvals. You will have no problem passing your MOT as long as your tyres are in good condition and compliant with the law.

However, to maintain optimal vehicle handling, we recommend that you follow the manufacturer’s recommendations by replacing your tyres with approved tyres, specially designed for your model. In some cases, particularly for ultra-high performance cars, replacing an approved tyre with a standard tyre may alter its handling performance. What’s more, manufacturer-approved tyres play an important role in optimizing your driving pleasure.

Can tyres with a manufacturer marking be fitted on other vehicles?

As long as there is no mandatory approval for your car, you can fit tyres approved for another vehicle, (provided, of course, that these tyres were not exclusively designed for that particular vehicle). As such, BMW approved tyres can be fitted on your Mercedes.

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