How far can I drive on run flat tyres?

By Julia Freeman

Whilst none of us are trying to break any records for driving the longest distance on a run flat tyre, in this day and age where we all need to keep moving the question as to how long you can keep going is a valid one. With 2 million tyres fitted each year, our tyre professionals at Protyre have offered some helpful advice on just how far you can drive on run flat tyres. Read more about puncture repair.

Flat Tyres

What are run flat tyres?

The main thing to note about run flat tyres is that they were designed with safety in mind with the addition of reinforced sidewalls. Standard tyres require air to stay hard, however the added characteristic of the reinforced sidewalls means that run flat tyres can temporarily stay rigid without any air pressure. This enables you to keep control of the vehicle and to continue driving for a limited number of miles at a reduced speed, giving you enough time to reach a tyre centre and avoid the need to change over to your spare tyre on a potentially busy and dangerous roadside.
Run flat tyres typically use the same rubber compounds as conventional tyres and so will have a similar level of durability and lasting power. Given that the reinforced components are within the sidewall, the rubber and tread of run flat tyres will wear at the same rate and require the same level of care, attention and maintenance as non-run flats.

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Can you puncture run flat tyres?

Simply put – yes, run flat tyres can still get punctures. The aim of a run flat is to prevent disaster in the event of a puncture, not to avoid them altogether. If you do puncture your run flat tyre, the reinforced sidewalls will allow you time to either get to a garage for a new tyre to be fitted, or to get you and your vehicle somewhere safe ready for the spare tyre to go on.

What if my run flat tyre gets a puncture?

Whilst accepted wisdom is that a flat tyre needs to be changed immediately, run flat tyres are designed to get you home or to the nearest garage. The advice is to avoid driving at high speed or for long distances once a puncture has occurred. Although run flat tyre manufacturers vary as to their guidelines, it’s usually possible to keep driving up to a maximum speed of 55mph – although the lower the better. Our qualified fitters advise driving only a limited distance and no further than around 50 miles. At this point, we advise stopping in a suitable location in order to keep yourself and your passengers safe.
To find out exactly what your run flat tyres’ maximum drivable distance and speed is, check the information on the tyre sidewall or speak to one of our tyre professionals who will be able to advise you further. In the event of a puncture, it’s important never to exceed this maximum distance or speed.
Avoiding driving over the maximum permitted speed and distance specified for your run flat tyre will also minimise the risk to other road users and the risk of being issued with a fine and/or penalty points. There is otherwise the potential that you could be penalised as the police may determine that you have not taken due care and attention when driving.

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Can I get my run flat tyres repaired?

If you ask any tyre professional, “Can you repair run flat tyres?” the answer is likely to be no. In fact, it would be advisable to avoid any garage that offers the repair of run flat tyres. A punctured run flat tyre cannot be repaired for various safety reasons, but primarily because the structural integrity of the reinforced tyre is compromised and lost once a run flat has been driven on. If patched up, it is highly likely that the tyre will puncture again as a result of uneven wear and a loss of rigidity.

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

All and any cars that are compatible with run flat tyres will have a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) installed. As the name suggests, the TPMS is designed to monitor the pressures in each tyre and alert the driver should any of them experience a loss of air pressure. Normally, this alert will display on the centre console and will remind the driver to stop after travelling 50 miles.
TPMS is integral when driving with run flat tyres fitted as it would otherwise be almost impossible to detect a puncture given that they are designed to continue working even when they’re deflated.

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Book with Protyre

Here at Protyre we offer a wide range of run flat tyres for every budget, from Continental to Pirelli and Falken to Autogrip. To locate the best tyres for your vehicle, use our online tyre search function where you’ll be able to find all of the tyres suited for your vehicle in one easy-to-see location.
Protyre are also pleased to offer both new and existing customers a free tyre check, as well as a TPMS check, by one of our experienced team of tyre professionals. To book a free vehicle check, simply click the button below and we’ll keep you moving, safely.

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About the author

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By Julia Freeman
Julia is Head of Retail Marketing for Protyre and loves engaging with customers and the business as a whole to make sure Protyre is more than just a local garage.
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