Are reinforced tyres mandatory for utility vehicles?

Are reinforced tyres mandatory for utility vehicles?

Tips & Advice for Car, SUV & Van tyres

What are reinforced tyres? What are they used for? What are the benefits? Are they mandatory for your commercial vehicle? We will answer these questions in our article.

What does "reinforced tyre" mean?

Reinforced tyres are tyres whose carcass has been, as the name suggests, reinforced. The purpose of this reinforcement is to give them greater strength so that they can carry heavier loads.

Not only can reinforced tyres carry heavy loads, but they are also more resistant to bumps, such as kerbs, and road imperfections, such as potholes.

How do you recognise a reinforced tyre?

Reinforced tyres can be identified by their marking on the sidewall. There are several markings which we will detail below: 

Η σήμανση «C»

The « C » marking

The “C” marking is for vans and other light commercial vehicles. As these types of vehicles usually involve the transport of heavy loads, for example for craft activities or package delivery, they need to be equipped with reinforced tyres to support such loads.

“C” marking tyres are specifically designed for this type of vehicle. They have a higher load index than conventional tyres.

Note that there can be several load indices for the same size. Ex. 235/65R16 MICHELIN Agilis CrossClimate with load index 115/113 or 121/119. The choice should therefore be made according to the vehicle's load.

Σημάνσεις XL και REINF (ή RF)

XL and REINF (or RF) markings

The XL "Extra Load" marking is intended for passenger vehicles with a high intrinsic load. 

The XL ("Extra Load") marking means that the tyre has a higher load rating than that usually found on the same size tyre. This means that it can withstand higher pressures. 

Similarly, the REINF or RF ("reinforced") marking indicates that the load index of the tyre has been increased to withstand heavier loads.

It is important to note that the XL and REINF markings are not intended for commercial vehicles, but for passenger vehicles with a higher loading.

Indeed, tyres with a “C” marking, intended for light commercial vehicles, already incorporate a reinforced carcass.

Are reinforced tyres mandatory for utility vehicles?

In some cases, it is indeed mandatory to fit reinforced tyres to your vehicle. We will see what these are below:

  • If you have a van or commercial vehicle, it is indeed mandatory that it be equipped with “C” marking tyres.
  • If you drive a small commercial vehicle of an equivalent size to a passenger car (e.g. Citroën Berlingo or Renault Kangoo), there is no obligation to fit it with “C” marking tyres but sometimes with XL or REINFORCED tyres.
  • XL and REINF tyres are designed for heavy passenger vehicles and are not mandatory for vans and commercial vehicles.
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If in doubt, simply refer to the manufacturer's recommendations in your user manual. If the requirement for a “C”-marking tyre is not mentioned in the manual, then you only need to comply with the load index indicated.

MICHELIN reinforced tyres

Our MICHELIN Agilis Van range offers tyres all with the "C" marking that are specifically designed to be compliant with the load constraints and usage of your van.

michelin agilis 3


MICHELIN Agilis 3 (”C” marking) enables you to take care of business with a reinforced carcass and do your bit for the environment with a long-lasting tyre. This eco-designed van tyre reduces significantly CO2 footprint(2) with less waste generated(3). Its robust design helps tackle potholes, cracks and uneven ground(4).

michelin agilis crossclimate

MICHELIN Agilis CrossClimate

Our all-season van tyre (“C” marking) is designed to deliver safety, longevity and traction for peace of mind, whatever the weather and the surface. Its reinforced design to helps resist wear and tear. This tyre offers a leading dry braking(5), A-rated wet grip(6) for safety and traction on challenging surfaces such as mud, grass, gravel and snow (3PMSF)(7)

michelin agilis alpin

MICHELIN Agilis Alpin

Carry your business through snowfalls with the MICHELIN Agilis Alpin tyre, a reinforced tyre (“C” marking) built to deliver high levels of safety, control and mobility in winter for light commercial and utility vehicles. Made for a high level of acceleration on snow(8) for optimal control and mobility (3PMSF). Its reinforced design withstands heavy loads and tough conditions.

Don't forget the pressure!

Whichever reinforced tyres you choose for your vehicle, it is essential to adjust the pressure once a month to match the van recommendations or, if none, those of the tyre manufacturer.


(1) On average, compared with its predecessor. Wet braking test by TÜV Süd 2012 on 195/65 16C 104/102 R (60-20 km/h).


(2) - CO₂ - Based on internal study "Analyse Cycle de Vie" ACV, September 2019 by the Michelin Technologies Centre comparing MICHELIN Agilis 3 vs MICHELIN Agilis+, on 235/65 R16 115/113R.​ AGILIS 3 reduces 1.3kg CO₂/ tyre for 1000km vs AGILIS + ​based on the case of a van equipped with 4 tyres AGILIS 3 and running 20,000km per year, the savings will be equivalent to 104kg CO₂​. Considering a tree can stock up to 35kg of CO₂/year on average (depending on type and age of the tree - source: CSR & sustainable development platform)​, saving 104kg/year is almost equivalent to planting 3 trees.


(3) - tyre weight - Unit weight of MICHELIN Agilis 3 has been reduced by up to 1.6kg per tyre vs the MICHELIN Agilis +.  


(4) - technologies - Tyre features unique kerbing shields to help protect against sidewall damage and an abrasion resistant rubber compound derived from proven truck tyre technology.


(5) - dry braking - Dry Braking Tests conducted by IDIADA on Michelin’s request, in 2017 & 2019, on dimension 235/65 R16C 115/113 R, on Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, in comparison with its major Premium Summer, Winter & All-Season Competitors (MICHELIN Agilis CrossClimate (40.7m) compared to BRIDGESTONE Duravis 660 (41.7m), CONTINENTAL ContiVanContact™ 100 (41.7m),; CONTINENTAL VanContact Winter (47.1m), PIRELLI Carrier™ Winter (46.9M), & MICHELIN Agilis CrossClimate (41.5m) compared to CONTINENTAL VanContact™ 4Season (47.1m), PIRELLI Carrier™ All Season (44.0m). And in 2019 MICHELIN Agilis CrossClimate (46.2m) compared to GOODYEAR Vector 4 Seasons Cargo(49.5m).


(6) - wet grip - MICHELIN Agilis CrossClimate scores A on the Wet grip class on the European labelling.


(7) - snow performance - MICHELIN Agilis CrossClimate is approved for use in snow conditions with 3PMSF certification (3 Peak Mountain Snow Flake).  


(8) - snow performance - MICHELIN Agilis Alpin is approved for use in snow conditions with 3PMSF certification (3 Peak Mountain Snowflake).  

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