Truck Tire Types - Passenger vs Light Truck

You’ve probably heard of passenger tires and light truck tires, but what’s the difference between them? Passenger tires and Light Truck tires may look similar, but they’re very different tire types.

There are two designations for truck, CUV, and SUV tires: Passenger (P) and Light Truck (LT). Passenger tires and LT tires look similar, but they are very different tire types. Passenger tires are designed for use on lighter weight vehicles such as regular passenger cars, minivans, CUVs, SUVs, and ½ ton or smaller light trucks. LT tires are designed for heavier vehicles such as ¾ ton and larger trucks, SUVs, and vans.

Passenger Tires


Passenger tires are designed to give lighter trucks and SUVs a smooth, quiet ride and exceptional traction in wet and dry conditions while providing adequate load carrying capacity.

Passenger tires aren’t designed to support heavier loads, so they shouldn’t be used on Heavy Duty light trucks or large SUVs/Vans. Passenger tires also shouldn’t be used for towing or hauling heavy loads. Using passenger tires incorrectly can cause overloading issues.

Because they’re designed for comfort, passenger tires don’t perform well in aggressive off-road conditions, and they’re usually not as puncture resistant as Light Truck tires.


Light Truck Tires


Light truck tires are engineered to support not only the weight of ¾ ton and larger trucks, SUVs, and vans, but also heavier loads, towing, and hauling needs. The higher load carrying capacities of LT tires make them rugged and durable, perfect for heavy loads and tough road conditions.

The stiffer sidewall does not absorb bumps, vibrations, and road noise. Reinforced sidewalls can cause the ride stiffness to become more apparent on lighter trucks and SUVs, which is why we typically only recommend using LT tires on ¾ ton and larger trucks, SUVs, and vans, or for use in off-road conditions.

LT tires have thicker, reinforced sidewalls for heavy-duty use and aggressive off-road driving. For this reason, many all-terrain and mud-terrain tires are LT rather than p-metric.


It is important to ensure that you have the correct ply rating to support your vehicle. If the tire does not have a high enough ply rating, irregular and premature wear can occur, as well as possible tire failure from insufficient load carrying capacity.


If you have any questions or need any assistance, stop by your local Discount Tire and we'll get you taken care of!

Find a store near you

For more information on this and other tire and wheel services, check out our YouTube Channel or reach out to us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.