Run flat car tyres

By Julia Freeman

Run flat tyres have strengthened sidewalls that prevent them from collapsing when punctured. That means you can continue driving, cautiously, until you reach a garage for a replacement. However, they have some disadvantages and are not recommended for all cars.

car driving down road

Risks of run flats

Firstly, driving on a punctured run flat tyre is not without risk. Some manufacturers advise drivers not to exceed 50mph on a deflated run flat, but others suggest closer to 30mph (difficult on a motorway). You should also not travel more than 50-100 miles: the safe distance depends on the tyre’s brand and the car’s make and weight. Most garages refuse to repair run flat tyres for safety reasons, so you need to buy replacements.
 
The best run flat tyres are so good at supporting the car you may not even notice if you get a puncture – which puts you at risk. Therefore, you should never use run flat tyres unless your vehicle has a TPMS (tyre pressure monitoring system). Conversely, if your car was factory shipped with run flat tyres, most manufacturers recommend that you continue to use them. In our experience, most vehicles can switch to conventional tyres, but some may need a few tweaks. If you’re planning to do so we can contact the manufacturer to check for you.

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The cost of run flat tyres

There are reports that cheap run flat tyres provide a harder and noisier ride. This depends very much on the brand and vehicle combination. Some tyre manufacturers use a slightly softer rubber to offset noise, which can translate to a slightly quicker wear rate, but generally run flat tyres handle just as well as conventional tyres and most owners are happy driving on them.
 
Most run flat tyres cost much the same as equivalent conventional tyres, but brands specialised for sports performance, extra load, or winter conditions are often pricier in run flat variations. For typical vehicles in normal conditions, a run flat tyre’s price should be similar to an ordinary tyre.

Run flat options

A good example is the trusty Bridgestone Turanza T005. This summer run flat version is a great all-round performer and also well priced in most tyre sizes. Other run flat tyres from Bridgestone include variants of the well-proven Bridgestone Potenza (such as the S001 version), a tyre that maintains great control in wet weather. For even more reliability in adverse weather conditions, consider Bridgestone Dueler run flats. Bridgestone also offer an extra load (XL) runflat based on the Turanza ER300. These are ideal for heavier or heavily laden vehicles or those that frequently tow.
 
For colder conditions, consider the run flat version of the Bridgestone Blizzak. These are well matched to a broad range of cars but often seen on the BMW X5 and X6 as well as the Mini Cooper, Toyota Sienna, Mazda MX5 Miata and Lexus IS.
 
A premium winter brand from Pirelli is the Sottozero 3. There are also run flat versions of the popular Cinturato and P Zero ranges.
 
Falken are often labelled a “mid-range” tyre, but there is nothing mid-range about the excellent Falken Azenis FK510 which is available as an XL runflat. The Falken Eurowinter is also available in an XL runflat, and usually better priced than comparable competitors.

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Finding the ideal tyre for your vehicle couldn't be easier; simply click the button below and pop your registration number into the search box. Alternatively, you can select "tyre search by tyre size" and input the details embossed on the side wall of your current tyres. At Protyre, we offer a variety of tyres to suit every budget and have same-day fitting appointments available across much of our range.

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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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