Everything You Need To Know About Spare Tyres

It’s easy to overlook your spare tyre. In fact, you might forget it's even there, hidden away in the boot. But if you experience a tyre puncture, you may need to fit your spare in order to get you home, or to your nearest tyre fitting centre. That’s why it’s vital to check spare tyres just as often as the tyres that are in day-to-day use.

What are the different types of spare tyre?

Spare tyres vary and can be full-size or temporary space-saver tyres. The latter are much thinner than a standard car tyre, and are not intended for extended use. They are designed to get you home or to your nearest garage, and usually cannot be used at speeds of more than 50mph. The maximum speed at which you can use the spare is usually printed on a sticker on the side of the wheel. However, if your spare tyre is missing this sticker, try to keep your speed to a maximum of 30 mph until you can reach help.

Should you need a new spare tyre, Kwik Fit stock replacement spares including space saver tyres for all popular makes and models of vehicle. Alternatively, contact your nearest Kwik Fit centre - where they’ll be able to order in a suitable replacement for you.

Where is my spare tyre?

Close up photo of a space saver tyre, with the yellow safety label in focus.

You should familiarise yourself with the location of the spare tyre or space saver tyre, the tyre jack, and also the locking wheel nut key, which are often located underneath the floor panel in your boot - but this can vary from car to car. Check your vehicle handbook for further details.

Does every car have a spare tyre?

You may find that you have neither a spare tyre or a space saver tyre, as many vehicle manufacturers are now opting to provide a tyre repair kit instead of a temporary replacement tyre.

The tyre repair kit often includes a foam sealant, which is inserted into the tyre through the tyre valve, and a compressor to re-inflate the tyre. The tyre sealant forms a bond with the rubber almost instantly, providing a temporary puncture repair that allows you to drive to safety.

Unfortunately, we are not able to repair a tyre where a foam sealant has been applied. A puncture repair plug requires a clean, uncontaminated surface in order to make an effective, long-lasting seal - which cannot be guaranteed if a foam sealant has been used to line the inside of the tyre.

How long can you drive on a spare tyre?

There’s no set answer to this question. A good rule of thumb is to drive your spare tyre for a maximum of around 50 miles, at a maximum speed of 50mph. Most spares have a limited tread, so this way, you won't run into any problems. However, if you plan on travelling long distances, it's best to carry a second set of wheels - or make your way to the nearest garage as soon as you notice issues.

Is it a legal requirement to carry a spare tyre?

It is recommended that you always carry a spare tyre with you, as accidents or punctures can happen when you least expect them. However, there is no legal requirement in the UK which states that you must carry a spare wheel with you as a driver. In fact, there’s no legal requirement to carry any means of fixing a puncture at all.

However, one of the most important things you can do as a driver is to keep a puncture repair kit to hand. Puncture repair kits contain all the tools you'll need to fix punctures quickly, such as an air compressor, sealant, patch kit, wheel brace, and jack.

Is a spare tyre checked as part of an MOT?

As they are not a legal requirement, spare wheels are not checked as part of an MOT - with the test instead focusing on elements like lights, brakes, and tyres in daily use. However, if you bring your car in for an MOT and it is fitted with a space-saver spare wheel, it will fail instantly. If your car should fail its MOT, find out about how to get a free retest with Kwik Fit.

The dangers of buying used tyres

When replacing tyres, especially spare tyres, it can be tempting to look for used tyres in order to save a bit of money. While buying older tyres can seem like a bargain, the cost is higher in money and safety. An astonishing 98% of part-worn tyres are believed to be non-compliant with the regulations for selling used tyres, so the safest and most sensible option is to buy new tyres instead.

Maintaining your spare tyre

Maintenance is key. To keep your spare tyre in tip-top condition, you’ll need to check it regularly. Here are the most crucial things you should be checking:


Tyre pressure should be checked regularly. If the pressure drops below the recommended level, then the tyre is underinflated. This could result in reduced performance and increased fuel consumption. The average spare tyre should have a pressure of 60 pounds per square inch (PSI). Find out how to check your tyre pressures.

Rotate your spare

All tyres should be rotated often (between six to eight thousand miles) and that includes spares, too - especially if you’ll be using it for a while.

By rotated, we mean that the tires should shift position around the vehicle, i.e. the rear left becomes the front left, the front left becomes the front right, the front right becomes the back right, and the back right becomes the back left.

Check the age and condition of your tyre

The age of a tyre can tell you whether it needs replacement. Older tyres tend to wear down faster than newer ones. In general, older tyres will have less grip, so make sure that you replace them before they become unsafe.

Road Hero available here

Road Hero space saver spare wheel kits now available at Kwik Fit

If you need to replace your spare wheel, or your car is one of the two-thirds of all cars that now roll off the production line without a spare wheel included, Road Hero's spare wheel kits provide an ideal solution.

Road Hero space-saver spare wheel kits fit comfortably in the boot of your car and are now available for a large selection of vehicle makes and models. The spare wheel kit not only includes a new tyre fitted to a rim for your specific vehicle model, but also includes everything you need to fit the spare - including a scissor jack and wheel brace, plus accessories like a warning triangle and kneeling mat. Order your space saver spare wheel replacement for collection at any Kwik Fit centre nationwide.

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