How far can you drive on your spare tyre?

By Julia Freeman

When was the last time you checked on your spare tyre? When you buy a car or buy car tyres, you may find that spare tyres have changed a little over the years. When you get that new Ford or that new set of Pirelli tyres, you might find that you don’t get a full tyre but a skinny space saver wheel for use if you get a puncture.

tyre changing

Now, there are some benefits of these new space saver wheels. They save the room normally taken up in your boot by a bulky spare wheel, giving you plenty more space for the shopping, and they weigh far less than a regular-sized wheel so saving you plenty of money in the context of fuel economy. However, next time you change over to the spare wheel, you’ll need to remember a few things. Space savers are made for strictly temporary use and you should be aware of the safety restrictions around them.

Safe driving speed

The maximum speed that you can drive on a space saver wheel is usually 50 miles per hour. Your saver wheel might say that it can go faster, but 50 is the safe speed to travel in dry weather. Of course, it’s best to go slower if the weather is wet. The maximum distance you are advised to travel on a saver tyre is normally around 50 miles (as the wheels have a limited 3mm tread) but if it’s necessary you can drive up to 300 miles. This is provided that the road surface is good and that you drive at a slow speed – so absolutely no racing along those country roads! The first place you should drive to after a puncture is to a garage to repair or replace your damaged tyre.

Check owner’s handbook

Check your owner's handbook and look for any labels attached to the spare to give you full guidance on the manufacturer’s advice. They may tell you whether the space saver is restricted to being used on either the front or the back of your vehicle. This might be for safety reasons as it can interfere with the braking components or damage the transmission. The handbook will tell you about the aspect ratio and the height of your tyre’s sidewall, as tyres on the same axle must have the same size and ratio.

Grip and braking

Using a space saver wheel reduces the grip of your vehicle on corners by up to fifteen per cent and it lengthens your braking distance considerably as there will be less rubber in contact with the road surface. It’s important to remember these limitations so you can avoid any accidents while driving. You should also remember to check the air pressure before fitting your space saver to your car. They can deflate while waiting to be used in your boot.
 
Follow this advice and the guidelines in your manufacturer's handbook. Space saver wheels are perfectly safe to use - just keep your speed low and don’t drive more than you need to.
 
Full-sized spares can, of course, be driven as normal.

Book with Protyre

Once you’ve got your space saver fitted and you’re back on the road, drive straight to one of our garages to talk with one of our qualified fitters. Alternatively, you can purchase new tyres online via our easy-to-use tyre guide, with same day fitting available across much of our range and appointments available at a time to suit you.

Buy Tyres

At Protyre, we pride ourselves on our years of experience, providing our customers with the best possible advice and care. Book in for a free tyre check at any of our over one hundred and fifty local garages and let’s discuss what’s best for your tyres and your car.

Book A Free Tyre Check

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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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