Stretch Tyres and Tyre Stretch

What is stretch tyres?

Stretch refers to stretching a narrower tyre over a wider wheel, the sidewalls stretch from the lip to the tread by pulling the sidewalls out to the rim at about 60 degrees to the tread rather than the standard 90 degrees, allowing the same tyre to become lower.

Why fit stretched tyres?
So you can run wider or lower offset wheels and maintain legality
To allow you to have really wide or low offset wheels and keep the tyre tread at the wheel arch
When you would like to go really low and not rub

Where did it start
Euro look tyre fitments started in Germany/Belgium and local laws required that the tyre tread needs to be within the wheel arch line.

Is it safe?
There has been no solid evidence that running a stretched tyre is any more dangerous than a regular tyre fitted.
Where the stretch is not excessive, the car is not driven too hard and the tyres are properly maintained.

How can I buy them?
If you know the tyre size you want, enter the size in the search box at the top right of our site.
Or if you know your wheel size and would like to see what would fit Search here

Should I inform my insurance company?
Insurance companies may not be happy and tend to take a cautious view of any modifications made to a car. If an accident happened that could be directly attributed to the stretched tyre there will certainly be questions raised about the "did the insured take reasonable steps to maintain his vehicle in a road worthy state" clause. As with any modification always notify and get your insurer's approval or you would invalidate your policy cover.

Are stretch tyres expensive?
It depends on your budget, Nankang NS-2 has the largest selection of obscure sizes and are relatively inexpensive.

What tyres stretch the best?
Toyo T1-S
Nankang NS-2
Dunlop SP9000
Nankang AS-1
Bridgestone Potenza RE040
Falken FK451
And many more, look for a tyre with a rounded shoulder and a lip protector, they give the "desirable" look

What about handling?
It is all about the looks, Stretch tyres and low offset deep dish wheels are all about cruising, not flopping around the track.

What size/offset wheels are the best for a staggered look
It is all about personal preference, that is why people build their cars for themselves.

Are you worried about curbing a wheel?
It is all about the looks, cruising and style, cars with stretched tyres will be looked after more and not driven hard around the roads.

How wide can I go?
Tyre manufacturers specify suitable width rims for their tyres as further guidelines to those wanting a "stretched look".

Are Speed ratings an Issue?
Speed ratings are also nominally lower on stretched tyres in use so this needs to be bared in mind, so always aim for a higher speed rating than you would for standard tyres.

Is tyre stretching legal?
We will give you the information available. We would have to concede that stretched tyres can be perfectly safe in some situations where the stretch is not excessive, the car is not driven too hard and the tyres are properly maintained. The risks of damage from a kerb also needs to be mentioned as most tyres give a degree of protection to a rim.

To justify a UK MOT failure, the tyre or its fitment must breach The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 as amended. While the regulations are specific about tread depth, cuts, speed ratings etc, the fitting of a tyre on an unsuitable size wheel rim is not specifically covered.

The Regulations say that “a tyre should not be used on a road if (h) the tyre is not maintained in such condition as to be fit for the use to which the vehicle is being put or has a defect which might in any way cause damage to the surface of the road or damage to persons on or in the vehicle or to other persons using the road.

It says nothing about the tyre must be fitted on a suitable wheel etc.


This part of the regulation therefore gives reasons for rejection such as:

  • tyre incorrectly seated on the wheel rim

But how ‘stretched’ would a tyre need to be before it’s in breach of the regulation, and how would you prove it?

The European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation publish a standards manual with approved rim widths for all sizes of tyre.

Nankang as a brand follow the ETRTO (European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation) guidelines to ensure the safety of all Nankang products being used on the road.

However, if a tyre is fitted outside of this recommendation, it does not necessarily mean the tyre will be incorrectly seated on the rim.

Whether the tyre is correctly seated will also depend of the tyre make, load carrying capacity, rim design etc. The following diagrams are representative of a correctly and incorrectly seated tyre.

In this example, the wheel rim and tyre are incompatible and there is a clear gap between the tyre bead and the wheel rim because the tyre is over-stretched.

When this happens, the vehicle should be rejected for the tyre being incorrectly seated on the wheel rim. Where this isn’t obvious, the nominated tester should pass and advise.

Another thing to note is that the driver of a vehicle with narrow tyres on wide rims may find that their insurance is invalid in the event of a claim.
It is your responsibility to ensure that anything you do is legal where you live

To see images of the tyre you would like to purchase before you buy check out all the tyre sizes and images here.