Choosing a spare tyre

Choosing a spare tyre

There are several options when it comes to picking a spare tyre, each with their own pros and cons. Here are the choices:

Full-size matching spare

What is it?

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 pattern.

PROS

  • 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.

CONS

  • Takes up storage space if there’s not a place for it.
  • When it’s time to buy replacement tyres you’ll need five rather than four (if you’ve rotated all five of the original tyres as recommended).

Full-size non-matching spare

What is it?

A full-size tyre that may have a different wheel and be a different size to those you already have. If you have one of these it shouldn’t be a part of your vehicle's tyre rotation pattern.

Note: Some national legislation may require you to have identical tyres fitted on the same axle, so please check this option is permitted under local law. 

PROS

  • Unlike temporary tyres, you won’t have to drive straight to a garage to get a full-size replacement.

CONS

  • Takes up storage space if there’s not a place for it.
  • Might look different to your other tyres, and may affect driving performance while fitted.

Full-size temporary spare

What is it?

A lightweight tyre with a shallow tread depth. It should match your vehicle's tyre size specifications, but you should only use it as a spare.

PROS

  • Because it’s full-size, a full-size temporary spare generally won't interfere with ABS, all-wheel drive or traction control while fitted.
  • Lightweight construction won't add a lot of weight to your vehicle. 

CONS

  • Still requires a ‘full-size’ amount of storage space, and must still be considered a temporary solution only.

Compact temporary spare

What is it?

A lightweight tyre with a shallow tread depth. It’s smaller than both standard and temporary spare tyres and requires a higher inflation pressure – generally 60 psi.

PROS

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

CONS

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

Folding temporary spare

What is it?

An inflatable or collapsible temporary spare tyre.

 

PROS

  • Takes up the least amount of storage space of the various spare tyre options. 

CONS

  • A little more difficult to use as it has to be inflated with either an air pump or a canister. 
  • Intended for limited and restricted usage to get you to a garage or to your dealer.

Dunlop has also developed Run On Flat tyres, which you can still drive on even when they are losing air – or even when they are fully deflated. They have a maximum speed when deflated of 50mph/80kph and can be used for up to 50 miles/80km – which should hopefully be enough to get you to a garage.

Buying a spare tyre

Since not all new vehicles come with a spare tyre you might want to consider purchasing one when you buy your car. Don’t forget that you can always ask an expert for advice if you’re not sure what kind of spare tyre is right for you. Take a look at our dealer locator to find out where you can buy Dunlop tyres near you.

Driving on a spare tyre

Before you use your spare tyre, remember to:

  • Make sure it’s been properly inflated
  • Inspect it for damage or punctures to the tread and sidewall 
  • Watch your speed – follow the instructions from your vehicle and tyre manufacturer regarding your speed, and permitted distance
  • Use it only to get as far as a garage or dealer. Any spare tyre other than a full size matching spare tyre is a temporary solution.

Storing & using a spare tyre

When choosing a spare tyre, think about where you’re going to store it. See our list of spare tyre types above to get an idea on the amount of space required for each.

Chances are, if you need to use your spare tyre, you'll need to know how to change the flat in the first place. Refer to our own fix a flat page for a simple guide on changing tyres.