Can I drive with a flat tyre?

A flat tyre is something that most motorists will encounter at some point. As the only part of your car that is in contact with the surface of the road, tyres are essential to your safety, but this also makes them vulnerable to damage from debris.

You should check your tyres regularly to make sure that they are inflated to the correct pressure, that the tread has sufficient depth. Also check that there is no visible damage, for example, nothing sticking in the tread and no damage to the sidewalls.
Not only is driving with a worn or damaged tyre dangerous, it’s also an offence under the Road Traffic Act that could risk a fine and three points on your licence. If you have a flat or otherwise faulty tyre, therefore, you need to get it attended to as soon as possible.

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On modern cars, it can be quite hard to know when you’re driving that you have a flat tyre. The steering may feel strange or the car may not seem to be handling correctly. If you notice symptoms like this, you should find a safe space to pull over and check if anything is wrong. Only in rare cases does a tyre fail completely in what’s known as a ‘blow out’. in this case, you should hold the wheel firmly and allow the car to coast to a stop, avoiding hard braking.
Many current cars have tyre pressure monitoring systems that will give you early warning of a problem. A flat tyre should be visually obvious from the outside of the car. If you have a flat, you shouldn’t drive on it. Doing so could result in complete destruction of the tyre and damage to the wheel. If you have a spare wheel and it’s safe to do so, you can change the tyre at the roadside. If you don’t feel confident doing this - or if you’re on a motorway - call your breakdown service for help.
Most cars no longer have a full-sized spare. They will either have a space saver or a puncture repair kit. In either case, these will keep you going in an emergency but you will need to keep your speed down below 50 mph and be aware that the handling of the vehicle will be affected.
The only exception to all of this is if your car is fitted with ‘run-flat’ tyres. These are designed to continue being driven following a puncture, but again you need to keep your speed down and get to somewhere like Protyre as soon as possible so that our tyre professionals can repair or replace the tyre.
Depending on where a tyre is punctured, it may be possible to repair it, but in other circumstances, you may need a new tyre.
At Protyre we stock a number of leading brands including Pirelli, Falken and Sumitomo and our qualified fitters can advise as to the best choice for your needs.
Why not try our online search tool to find the right tyres for your vehicle - and your pocket.

About the author

Tom Boote

Tom has over 5 years’ digital marketing experience within the automotive industry in both B2B and B2C ...

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