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Spare tyre securely stored in the trunk of a car

How Long Does A Spare Tyre / Space Saver Last?

How long can you rely on your spare tyre tucked away in your car’s trunk?

It’s one of those things that we often overlook until we find ourselves on the side of the road with a flat tyre.

In this article, we’ll delve into the lifespan of spare tyres, what factors affect their durability, and when it’s time to consider replacing them.

How Long Does A Spare Tyre Last?

The lifespan of a spare tyre can vary depending on several factors, but generally, you can expect a full-size spare tyre to last up to 10 years.

On the other hand, space saver tyres, also known as compact spare tyres or donuts, typically have a shorter lifespan, ranging from 5 to 7 years.

This discrepancy in durability is due to the design differences between the two types of spares.

Factors Affecting Spare Tyres’ Lifespan

Type Of Tyre

As mentioned earlier, the type of tyre you have matters.

Space saver tyres inherently have a shorter lifespan compared to full-size ones due to their design and intended use as temporary replacements.

Frequency Of Use

The more often you find yourself relying on your spare tyre, the sooner it will wear out.

Frequent usage can accelerate wear and tear, significantly reducing the lifespan of the spare tyre. It’s essential to limit your use of the spare tyre to emergencies to prolong its longevity.

Storage Conditions

Extreme temperatures, whether it’s scorching heat or freezing cold, can cause the rubber in the tyre to degrade more rapidly. Additionally, if the spare tyre is not properly inflated, it can wear out prematurely.

To ensure your spare tyre’s longevity, store it in a cool, dry place and regularly check its pressure.

When To Replace Your Spare Tyre

Visible Damage

Inspect your spare tyre regularly for any visible signs of damage, such as cracks, bulges, or dry rot. Any of these issues are clear indications that your spare tyre needs to be replaced immediately.

Damaged tyres are not safe to use and can lead to accidents or blowouts on the road.


If your spare tyre is more than 10 years old, it’s advisable to replace it, regardless of its visual condition. Over time, rubber can deteriorate, making the tyre unsafe for use, even if it hasn’t been used often.

Tread Depth

In Australia,the legal limit for tread depth is 1.5mm.

If your spare tyre’s tread depth falls below this threshold, it’s time for a replacement. Inadequate tread depth can compromise traction and handling.

In saying that, your spare tyre is much more likely to hit the age limit before it hits the tread depth limit.


Knowing how long your spare tyre will last and when it’s time for a replacement is important for your safety and peace of mind.

Remember to regularly check and replace your spare tyre when needed to ensure you’re always prepared for unexpected flat tyre emergencies.

Louis from Tyre Geek


I'm Louis, an engineer passionate about helping Australians choose better tyres for their vehicles!