How Far Can You Really Drive on a Spare Tire?

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Whether you’re a new driver, or have been behind the wheel for a while, knowing about your car is important. Details like how often to service your engine, to windshield wiper care are key. However, most drivers don’t know how far they can drive on a spare tire! 

Getting a flat tire can be devastating. Not only could it cause an accident, but it also means having to use your spare. One of the most important emergency items you should have in your car at all times! In this article we will explain how far you can really drive on a spare tire, as well as what spares are best for you. 

Types of Spare Tires

Not all spare tires are created equal. There are a two major types of spare tire you can find in your vehicle. Additionally, they both have their own limits and qualities. 

First, you have the space-saver spare tire. These are small tires often called a “donut” tire. They are the most common type of spare, often mentioned in tire blowout insurance claims, and are easiest to install. Furthermore, they are really affordable.

The space-saver tires can generally drive up to fifty miles. However, they can not go over fifty miles per hour.

Secondly, there is the full-sized spare tire. Generally speaking, these are normal tires that are purchased as spares to keep in, or on, your vehicle. All in all, most modern car brands actually include full-sized spares in their base models. 

Similarly, the full-sized spare tires should only go up to fifty miles and hour. While you can drive on this type of spare for up to about 100 miles.

drive on a spare tire

Drive on a Spare Tire with Limitations

All things considered, both types of spares come with their own limitations. You should definitely know how far you can drive on a spare tire, as well as what it could mean for your car to use them. Whether you are planning a long road trip, or driving to work everyday, this knowledge is important.

Here are all the details you will need to know about the types of spare tires: 

The “Donut”, Space-Saver Tire

  • Should only be driven for fifty miles
  • Can only go up to fifty miles per hour
  • Great for saving room in small vehicles
  • Easily removed and repaired
  • Affordable

The Full-Sized Spare

  • Easily installed because of lighter weight
  • Generally speaking, do not drive more than 100 miles on this tire
  • Can not go over fifty miles an hour
  • Bulkier for in-car storage, as well as takes up more space
  • More expensive

Though both spares have their pros and cons, you can only drive on spare tires for a limited amount of miles. Not to mention you should not go over certain speeds. Check your spare tire brand, as well as look up the speed and distance limitations for your brand. 

The Right Spare for You

All things considered, it’s good to know the best type of spare for you. If you lose your keys, you know exactly what steps to take. However, with a flat tire, it can sometimes be confusing about what you need to do. If you drive too far, or for too long, you can do serious damage to your transmission, axel, and more.

Firstly, it is important to note where you drive most. If you usually drive in populated areas, then a donut may work best. This is because the nearest repair shop should be closer. If you are mostly in rural areas, then you need to drive further. The full-size would be more for you.

Secondly, the size of your vehicle is also important. Space savers are small and compact. They work well in sedans, as well as smaller vehicles. On the other hand, the full-sized is bigger and works best with cars that have interior room to spare. Not to mention exterior storage options. 

Knowing How Far You Can Drive on a Spare Tire Really Helps!

Overall, the two types of tires can be extremely useful in a pinch. Having this knowledge can really save you out on the road. After all, knowing how far you can drive on a spare tire is an important part of being a good car owner and a safe driver!

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Hanna Embry

As a freelance writer, I have been creating content and writing blogs for over a decade. Not only do I love writing about cars, but I also have experience in many other fields. I have been a guest writer on many popular blogs, as well as ghostwritten novels. When I’m not writing, you can find me with my family, reading a book, or working on an art project.