Spare Tyres

Spare Tyres

Nobody likes getting a flat tyre, but even the most careful of drivers can never rule it out completely. The Stepney Spare Wheel was invented in the early 1900s to take that worry away and it’s proven invaluable as spare tyres are still used today.

Changing a spare tyre

Using a Spare Tyre

If you have a spare tyre you should check it every now and then to ensure it’s up to standard. Always remember to:

  • Make sure it’s properly inflated - Even spare tyres that have never been used expel air over time. Check its air pressure before a long drive to make sure it’s ready if you need it.
  • Inspect it for damage - You don’t want to get a puncture only to realise your spare has a puncture too, that’s why it’s important to buy a spare tyre from new.
  • Watch your speed if using a temporary spare - Follow the instructions from your vehicle and tyre manufacturer regarding your speed as well as driving distance, but speed is generally capped at 50mph for temporary spare tyres.
  • Watch your distance - A spare tyre is a temporary solution, so only drive as far as a garage or tyre dealer to repair or replace your original tyre.

Types of Spare Tyres

Full-Size Matching Spare

A full-size tyre that matches the current ones on your vehicle. If you're using a full-size matching tyre as your spare, remember to make it part of your vehicle's tyre rotation


  • Maintains the aesthetics of your car
  • Unlike temporary tyres, you won’t have to drive straight to a garage to get a full-size replacement


  • Takes up storage space if there’s not a place for it
  • When it’s time to buy replacement tyres you’ll need to buy 5 rather than 4

Compact Temporary Spare

A lightweight tyre with a shallow tread depth. It’s smaller than both standard and temporary spare tyres, making it ideal for cars with smaller boot space, and requires a higher inflation pressure – generally 60 psi.


  • Doesn't require the storage space of a full-size matching spare.



  • Can impair certain vehicle features like ABS, traction control, and even speedometer operation.
  • Intended for limited and restricted use to get you to a garage or to your tyre dealer.

How Do Tyre Repair Kits Work?

Carmakers need all the extra space they can get with the increasing pressure to add the latest technology and equipment into cars, and spare wheels can be the first to go due to their size and weight. Instead, tyre repair kits are fitted and work by forcing a latex sealant into the tyre, sometimes through a valve and compressor. The compressor runs off the car’s 12-volt power outlet and inflates the tyre, putting pressure on the sealant to plug the puncture hole. So, what are the pros and cons of this bit of kit?



Tyre repair kits take up a lot less space than a spare tyre and are increasingly favoured by car manufacturers.

If your tyre fails or it suffers from significant sidewall damage you won’t be able to use a tyre repair kit. This is where a spare wheel would be needed. 

They are much lighter too, which is an important factor with cars such as plug-in hybrids that have a heavy electric battery.

If damage to the tyre is over 5mm or in the sidewall, the kit may not seal the tyre. Always follow manufacturer instructions. 

Unlike a spare tyre where you’ll need a jack and other tools, there are no extras needed with your tyre repair kit. 

Although it can be cleaned and repaired, the inside of your tyre and wheel will be covered in a latex substance which some fitters refuse to remove because it can be a messy job.

Buying a Spare Tyre

Goodyear Vector 4seasons Gen 3 in autumn, summer and winter weather

Car manufacturers are under no legal obligation to provide you with anything to deal with a puncture. If you haven’t already, you should really take a look in your boot so you know what’s available to you if you ever get a puncture. There are a few points to bear in mind when buying a spare tyre:

Tools - make sure you have a jack and the tools needed to fit the spare tyre.

Maintenance – don’t forget to check the air pressure in your spare wheel from time to time.

Space – check your boot space. Some smaller cars may only have space for a space-saver tyre rather than a full-size spare.

Take a look at our dealer locator to find out where you can buy Goodyear tyres near you.

Tyre FAQs

How to Change a Flat Tyre

Getting a puncture won’t interfere with your day too much if you know how to change a flat tyre. We’ve detailed all the equipment you’ll need as well as some important safety guidelines, so you can practice changing a tyre at home and be fully prepared if you’re ever caught with a flat.

How to Repair a Flat Tyre

A trained tyre repair specialist can repair a flat tyre if the puncture is near the centre of the tyre tread and no more than 6mm in size – in the UK we advise dealers to work to BSAU159G. If the puncture is larger than 6mm or on the tyre sidewall then you’ll need the whole tyre replaced. 

Do all New Cars Come with Spare Tyres?

Only a handful of new cars on sale today are fitted with a spare tyre as standard, with many fitted with run flat tyres or sold with tyre repair kits instead. The three main reasons behind this are space, cost and weight.

If your car is fitted with run flat tyres as original equipment, you won’t need a spare tyre. 

How Far Can You Drive on a Spare Tyre?

If your car is fitted with a spare tyre it’s quite likely it’ll be a space-saver spare. This type of spare tyre should only be used temporarily until you’ve driven to the nearest car tyre dealer, whereas a full-size matching spare can be driven further.

There’s no hard and fast rule about the distance you can drive on a spare tyre, but a general rule of thumb is about 50 miles at a maximum speed of 50mph. It’s important to note that handling will be different with a skinny spare tyre, so you’ll need to be aware of this when you’re driving. Make sure to check your handbook and any labels on the spare itself for accurate guidance. 

What Air Pressure Should Your Spare Tyre Be?

You should treat your spare tyre like the rest of your tyres and check its pressure with every tyre rotation or every 6,000 to 8,000 miles. Air can still leak out of the spare tyre even if it’s not doing anything at all, so it’s best to check so you know it’s ready to use if and when you need it.

Checking the pressure in your spare tyre is easy too, just use a pressure gauge and measure it the same way you would your regular tyres. Consult the handbook or sidewall of your spare tyre to find the recommended pressure.

Do Run on Flat Tyres come with a Spare?

Your car won’t come with a spare tyre if it’s fitted with run flat tyres. Run flat tyres are also known as self-supporting tyres, and they’re specially designed with rigid sidewalls that support your car if it gets a puncture for 50 miles at a maximum speed of 50mph.

The rigid sidewalls mean the tyre doesn’t need air pressure to support the car, and they’re so effective in disguising a puncture that many people don’t realise their tyre is losing pressure until the car’s tyre pressure monitoring system alerts them to lost air pressure.

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