Spare Tyres

Early motor cars were made without spare wheels, and getting a puncture was something that all drivers feared. The Stepney Spare Wheel was invented so driver’s fears were put as ease and over 100 years later we’re still using spare tyres today. 

Types of Spare Tyres


Full Size Matching Spare


This type of spare tyre matches the current ones fitted to your car. If you’re using a full-size matching tyre as a spare, remember to make it part of your vehicle’s tyre rotation.




  • Maintains the overall look of your car
  • Unlike temporary spare tyres, you won’t have to drive straight to a tyre dealer to get a full-size replacement



Compact Temporary Spare


These lightweight, temporary tyres have a shallow tread depth. Their smaller size makes them ideal for cars with a smaller boot space compared to standard tyres.




  • Doesn't require as much storage space as a full-size matching spare


  • Can impact certain features like traction control, ABS, and even speedometer operation
  • Designed for limited and restricted usage to get you to a tyre dealer

Tyre Repair Kit

The majority of new cars don’t come with a spare tyre, instead they’re fitted with a temporary tyre repair kit that forces a latex sealant through the tyre valve to plug the puncture. These tyres are intended to get the driver to a safe place or garage in order to change the tyre. But do the pros of using a tyre repair kit outweigh the cons?




  • Tyre repair kits are much lighter than spare tyres, which is important with newer cars that have lots of in-built technology
  • They’re about half the size of a car battery and take up a lot less space than a spare wheel
  • There are no extra tools needed when it comes to using a tyre repair kit, unlike a spare wheel which needs a jack as well as other tools




  • You won’t be able to use a tyre repair kit for structural failures such as a failure or significant sidewall damage
  • The inside of your tyre and wheel will be covered in a mousse-like substance and although they can be cleaned and repaired, many fitters will refuse to do so because it can be an awkward job

Driving on a Spare Tyre

You may be lucky enough to never need your spare tyre, but that shouldn’t stop you checking its road worthiness from time to time. There are a few points to remember when driving on a spare:

  • Check for damage - The last thing you need is for your spare to let you down because it’s damaged or already has a puncture. Buying a spare tyre from new is one way to ensure this
  • Check air pressure - Check your spare tyre’s air pressure, even if you’ve never used it as it can still expel air sitting in your boot
  • Stay under 50mph if driving on a temporary spare - There should be instructions from your car and tyre manufacturer regarding the speed and driving distance you should adhere to using a temporary spare
  • Don’t travel too far - Spare tyres are only a temporary solution to get you to the nearest garage (unless you’re using a full-size matching spare). You need to get your tyre repaired or replaced as soon as possible
Dunlop Sport Maxx RT2 Tyre Close Up Image

Buying a Spare Tyre for your Car

When it comes to buying a spare tyre for your vehicle, it’s ideal to check the space available in your boot as that can be the deciding factor as to what spare tyre you buy. You’ll also need the right tools and jack to be able to fit the spare if you ever get a puncture.

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

Changing a Flat Tyre

Changing a Flat Tyre

Many people assume changing a flat tyre is too difficult and rely on a recovery team to change it for them. But it’s not as difficult as you think and it’s definitely something you can do yourself, especially when you follow our safety guidelines and have the right equipment to hand. 


How to Fix a Flat Tyre

Dealer checking tyres

Getting a puncture doesn’t necessarily mean the whole tyre needs to be replaced. An approved tyre repair specialist can repair the tyre if the puncture is less than 6mm in size and on the central tyre tread, however if the sidewall has been damaged the whole tyre will need replacing as its integrity will be compromised.

Do New Cars Have a Spare Tyre?

Modern car design is slowly phasing out the use of spare wheels in favour of tyre repair kits or run flat tyres. One of the biggest reasons behind this is space. Repair kits are much smaller and lighter than a spare tyre. This is incredibly important in electric vehicles such as plug-in hybrid cars as they are much heavier than conventional cars and need to be more economical with fuel when they use their fuel-powered engine.

How Long Can You Drive on a Spare Tyre?

There was a time when cars would come with five identical wheels – four on the road and a spare in the boot. It’s more commonplace today for cars to have alloy wheels but they’re more expensive than the steel wheels they replaced, so if there’s a spare tyre in your boot chances are it’s a non-standard spare designed for temporary use.

Non-standard spare tyres are much narrower than your other tyres which means you should only drive as far as a tyre dealer to have your original repaired or replaced. The maximum speed you can travel on a spare is 50mph and although there’s no maximum distance, it is recommended to only travel 50 miles. 

Dunlop Sport Maxx RT 2 SUV tyre on Porsche

Spare Tyres - Types, Storage And Usage

The air pressure of your spare tyre completely depends on the type of spare tyre you have. Check the vehicle handbook or spare tyre sidewall to find the recommended air pressure.

Although you might not have used your spare tyre, you should check your spare tyre pressure at regular intervals just to make sure no air has leaked out in that time. Simply use a pressure gauge to check the PSI of your spare tyre.

What is a Run Flat Tyre?

Run flat tyres, also known as self-supporting tyres, are made with reinforced sidewalls that can support the car for a limited period if the tyre loses pressure, rather than air pressure to support the car if the tyre gets a puncture. They’re designed so you can continue to drive on them at a limited speed no more than 50mph for a maximum of 50 miles, unless the vehicle manufacturer states otherwise, to the nearest tyre garage. If you have run flat tyres then you won’t have to deal with a spare tyre, tool and jack if you get a puncture. Instead, you should make your way to your nearest tyre dealer to have your tyre repaired or replaced. 

Dunlop RunOnFlat Technology Icon

The Right Tyre For You

Find a Dealer

Technology and Innovation