how fast can you drive on a spare tire

How Fast Can You Drive On A Spare Tire? Know The Spare Tire Basics

A flat tire causes a lot of hassle and wastes time, and to run flat tire poses a risk and danger. Having spare tires readily available in your car is as important as wearing your seatbelt when driving. It’s a safety requirement in case of an emergency—one of your regular tires may wear out or have gone flat. So the question is, “How fast can you drive on a spare tire?” Not all drivers care about this question because some think it’s as if you’re still driving on a regular tire. However, standard and spare tires have differences, and every driver should take note of these. Extra caution can be taken when traveling on a highway or freeway with a spare tire.

It is relevant to learn, especially for a newbie who owns a car for the first time. A spare tire or donut tire is essential because it will be your backup when you encounter flat tires and will help you to drive on a spare on your way to the nearest repair shop and replace your car’s tire with a regular tire.

So let’s get right to the point. When using a spare tire, 50 mph or less is the recommended maximum speed (for a donut spare tire or space-saving spare tire). I’m sure you have many questions about this response, so I’d like to guess at a few of them and give you the answers.

Why is the maximum speed limited to 50 mph or less?

Donut tires or space-saver tires do not have the same design and safety qualities as spare tires. Compared to spare tires, traditional tires are typically larger, heavier, and more prone to spare tire failure. If you drive your car with a spare tire on and go faster than fifty miles per hour, the tire will eventually blow out, and you risk damaging other components in your vehicle, which could lead to an accident. They have a lower level of grip (in terms of braking), and they spin much faster than other wheels. In addition, doing so may damage the car, and its overall performance, resulting in great difficulty for you. It is wise to err on the side of caution; as the old saying goes, “It is better to be safe than sorry.” With that in mind, avoid going overboard and instead focus on doing everything you can to reach the closest shop that sells regular tires and can replace your flat tire with one of those.

My route is on a highway or freeway; what should I do? Driving on a donut tire on the highway

Because the typical speed limit on a highway is 70 miles per hour for optimal speed, you find yourself reflecting on this fact. You are free to stay in the lane that moves the slowest or the slow lane and turn on your hazard lights, but before you do so, check to see if you are in a state that allows drivers to use such lights legally. Turning toward the nearest exit is another smart thing to do. Because of this, you will have the self-assurance to drive more slowly and will be able to concentrate on getting to the repair shop as quickly as possible. Remember that achieving this was your ultimate objective when you got a flat tire and were forced to drive on the spare tire. In doing so, you’ll be able to drive with confidence and avoid the risk of accidents.

The repair shop is out of the way, what happens if you drive on a spare tire too long?

The answer to this still brings us to the question: what type of spare tire do you have? The kind of car that you have may help answer this question. Most of the time, SUVs, MPVs, and pickup trucks have full-size spare tires, and small vehicles like sedans and hatchbacks have donut spare tires, but this still depends on the manufacturer, tire brand, and tire pressure. So, if you have a full-size spare tire, you can drive much farther compared to a donut spare/space-saver spare tire. However, never be too confident that you drive a full-size spare tire because this may still cause damages in the long run, so just make sure to get to the nearest repair shop before another tire wear.

Full-size spare tire vs. donut: what are their differences?

So let’s dig into the details. Full-size: SUVs, trucks/MPVs, sedans/hatchbacks. Doesn’t that make sense? The former is bigger and heavier, and the latter is smaller and lighter. Full-size tires take up more space in your trunk, and because they’re heavy, they add to the weight of your vehicle, potentially reducing fuel efficiency. However, it does give you more advantages, especially when the repair shop is far away and may cause you to drive longer. A donut is the opposite of a full-size, so it’s easier for this to be stored in the trunk because of its smaller size. However, donuts have drawbacks, such as their susceptibility to road damage, like damaging the rim, the fact that you may lose control, tire wear, and, of course, not being reusable like a traditional tire.

Is it necessary to learn the basics on how to replace my flat tire with a spare tire?

This is a common question for new users, but the answer is yes. This is a must. Even though it’s important to know about the different car parts, there may be many people who can help us if we have a flat tire, but let’s think about the worst-case scenario. What if there’s no signal because we got a flat tire or ran out of battery on our phones? Here are some situations where it doesn’t hurt to know the basics. We still need to do it. There are a lot of guides on how to change tires on the internet, and some of them are easy to understand. Somehow, we still learn something from what we find online about other tires.


Do you think you’ll be able to drive safely with just the spare tire? Please don’t freak out about it! You are familiar with the fundamentals of safe driving that are necessary for inexperienced drivers must follow. You need to be aware of the maximum speed you can travel while driving on a spare tire to maintain your safety. This is being said for your own benefit. It is important for you to gain an understanding of this because certain instances can occur in our lives when we are least prepared for them, and it is your responsibility to gain that understanding. The fact that we are informed enough to be able to drive with a spare tire until we can purchase a new tire is a massive advantage.

Just a reminder: Never forget to check your spare tire every time you go out, especially during long drives, because, as I mentioned in the first part of this article, “having a spare tire readily available in your car is as important as wearing your seatbelt all the time when driving.” This will allow you to be prepared and secure, which will still benefit you the most.