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Your vehicle’s tires are designed to withstand all kinds of roads and weather conditions. However, that doesn’t mean they’re invulnerable because you can still get a flat tire. When that happens you can always install your spare. But how far can you drive safely on it?

Read on to find out how far you can drive on a spare tire and learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about spare tires.

How Far Can You Drive on a Spare Tire?

If your spare tire is smaller in size compared to the rest of the tires on your vehicle, then you shouldn’t drive more than 50 miles with it. This is because driving for long distances on a smaller-sized spare tire (also known as a donut tire) can damage some parts of your vehicle.

Small-sized spare tires are designed to let you drive to the nearest repair shop and have the flat tire inspected for repairs or replacement. So you shouldn’t use them as a long-term replacement for your flat tire.

woman replacing car tire
If your spare tire is smaller in size compared to the rest of the tires on your vehicle, then you shouldn’t drive more than 50 miles with it.

For full-sized spare tires, you can typically drive up to 100 miles safely. While full-sized spare tires are heavier and require more space for storage, they are more durable and can handle drives similar to regular tires.

What Is a Spare Tire?

A spare tire is an extra tire that’s stashed somewhere in a vehicle in case of a flat tire. It serves as a safety measure in case of tire-related emergencies, so you won’t get stuck in the middle of the road with a flat tire.

What Happens if You Drive Too Long on a Spare Tire?

You run the risk of causing excessive wear on your vehicle’s wheel bearings, brakes, and transmission gears when you drive on a spare tire for a long time. The risk is higher if the spare is smaller than your other tires.

There is also a much higher risk of a blowout or tire damage because of the spare tire’s lightweight composition.

What Are the Different Types of Spare Tires?

Listed below are some of the most popular types of spare tires:

  • Full-size matching spare tire
  • Full size non-matching spare tire
  • Full size temporary spare tire
  • Compact temporary spare tire (also known as donut spare tire)
  • Folding temporary spare tire
  • Run-flat tire

How Far Can You Drive on a Run-Flat Tire?

If you drive a performance or luxury car, such as a BMW or a Mini, you probably have run-flat tires. Run-flat tires are designed to maintain pressure even after a puncture. They’re tougher than most spare tires and cost less to maintain.

Rather than going flat or blowing out after being punctured, run-flat tires can continue to drive for about 50 miles before needing to be replaced. While they cost less to maintain, they cost more to replace.

Can You Use a Spare Tire More Than Once?

You can use your spare tire more than once provided it doesn’t show signs of tread wear. While there isn’t an exact number of times you can use your spare tire, you should make an effort to maintain it so it lasts as long as possible. 

When used sparsely, you can expect your spare tire to last anywhere from 5 to 8 years. Of course, this is only a rough estimate because overall spare tire quality still depends on its material.

How Much Does a Replacement Spare Tire Cost?

An aftermarket spare tire replacement can cost you anywhere from $50 to $300 on parts alone. Its price depends on various factors, like the part’s brand, quantity, and your vehicle’s specifications.

What to Consider When Looking for a New Spare Tire

car spare tires for sale
Shopping for a new spare tire can quickly become overwhelming because of the wide variety of options on the market.

Shopping for a new spare tire can quickly become overwhelming because of the wide variety of options on the market. To help you choose the right one for your vehicle, here are some factors to consider when shopping for a new spare tire:


Always check for fitment before buying a new spare tire for your vehicle. When in doubt, get a replacement that’s designed specifically for your vehicle’s year, make, and model to guarantee a perfect fit and hassle-free installation.


A spare tire can be the only part standing in the way of becoming stranded in the middle of a highway and driving to safety. That’s why it is crucial that your spare tire is durable and made of high-quality materials. The best way to ensure the quality of your spare tire is to order it from a trusted brand.

Finding the perfect replacement spare tire for your vehicle should be easy as long as you know what to consider and look through credible product reviews. Also, don’t forget to check your vehicle specifications or consult your trusted mechanic to double-check the specifications of your replacement spare tire.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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