Spare tyres: all you have to know

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Imagine that you are late for work, you need to drop your kids off and it is raining. Then, you suddenly hear a pop and see your tyre-pressure light turn on. As you check the problem, you notice something different: a nail is stuck in one of your bike or car tyres. This should not be a big deal, nowadays most vehicles come with a spare tyre ready to be used in this kind of situation. However, most people are not aware of all the different types of spare tyres in the market and how they should be used.

Knowing what exactly your car has is very important. One of the worst times to learn about different types of spares tyres is when you need to use one. It is always better to know all about the advantages and disadvantages of spare tyres way before you even get a new vehicle. Let’s have a look at two different spare tyres and which one can be more suitable for your needs and driving style.

First, we have full-size tyres. They commonly match the same size as your regular tyres, so they usually have the same characteristics and lifespan. If you have enough room in your car, it is an amazing option if your fifth tyre matches your current tyres. Keep in mind that they are good only for a short period or in case of an emergency.

Nowadays, most vehicle manufacturers do not include spare tyres on new cars as many of them are not big enough to transport full-sized spare tyres. Some cars come with a more compact spare tyre also known as a doughnut. They are light and easy to carry, so you will not need a big space in your trunk to put them away. Nevertheless, this is only a temporary fix.

Compact spare tyres do not have enough tread depth and grooves to outperform normal tyres, mainly during tough weather conditions; they are designed to function only for a few kilometres at low speeds.

Both full-size and compact spares must be inspected regularly for inflation. You would not want to replace a flat tyre with another damaged tyre.

How long can you drive on spare tyres?

Every driver in the UK hopes they will never get a flat tyre, but sometimes it can be inevitable. That is why you need to be prepared when that day arrives. It is important to know how long you can use your spare tyres. Experts recommend not to drive on spare tyres for too long.

For vehicles equipped with full-size tyres that match the shape and size of normal tyres, there is no limit on the time they can work. They can last as long as your current tyres. Still, you should prioritize on repairing your flat tyre so you can have a useful spare one and all your tyres can wear evenly.

Compact tyres are less expensive and keep the weight of your vehicle down, which in the long term will improve fuel economy. On the other hand, while they are more common in modern cars due to their size and portability, will not last as much as full-sizes. If you wish to know exactly how long they can be used, you can consult your car’s manual. There you will find the mileage as well as all the speed limitations.

Nonetheless, most tyre specialists agree that doughnut tyres can last approximately sixty up to eighty miles. To be safe, you should stick as close as possible to the minimum recommended and drive as slow as possible, not exceeding fifty miles per hour.

In other words, driving on compact tyres is not the best idea, so you should try to repair your flat tyre as soon as possible. Every driver fears getting flat tyres, hoping that will never happen to them. However, it is necessary to be prepared with at least one spare tyre.