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A spare tyre stored inside the boot of a car

How Long Can You Drive On A Spare Tyre In Australia?

Wondering how long your spare tyre could last in a pinch?

Whether you have a full-size spare, a space saver, or run flats, understanding the limitations of driving on a spare tyre is essential for your safety and the well-being of your vehicle.

How Long Can You Drive On Each Type Of Spare Tyre?

Full-size Spare

A full-size spare tyre is a complete tyre and wheel that matches the other tyres on your vehicle. In terms of how long you can drive on a full-size spare, it is generally safe to cover up to 100 to 200 kilometres.

However, it is important to refer to your vehicle’s manual for precise recommendations, as different manufacturers will have their own set of guidelines around spare tyres.

Space Saver

Space saver tyres, also known as compact spare tyres or donuts, are designed to save space in your vehicle. These tyres typically have a tread depth of 3mm, compared to the 8mm tread of new tyres.

Space saver tyres are intended to be used temporarily until you can reach a repair shop. It is recommended to drive on this type of spare tyre for no more than 80 kilometres and at speeds below 80 km/h.

Run Flats

Run flat-tyres are a special type of tyre that can be driven on even after a puncture. These tyres feature reinforced sidewalls that provide temporary support, allowing you to reach a nearby service station or repair facility.

Even when deflated, run-flat tyres can be driven for up to 80 kilometres, but your speed should not exceed 80 km/h.

While there is no specific legal limit for how long you can drive on a spare tyre in Australia, it is essential to adhere to the manufacturer’s recommendations. They provide guidelines on the safe usage of spare tyres, including recommended distances and speeds.

Exceeding these recommendations may not only compromise safety but also invalidate your vehicle’s warranty. Therefore, you should familiarise yourself with the specific guidelines for the spare tyre in your vehicle.

Things To Remember When Driving On A Spare Tyre

Reduced Speed

Spare tyres are not designed for high-speed driving. It is advisable to drive at a moderate speed to maintain stability and control.

Limited Distance

Spare tyres have a limited lifespan and are not intended for long-term use. Make sure to get your original tyre repaired or replaced as soon as possible.

Handling Differences

Spare tyres may have different handling characteristics compared to your regular tyres. Be cautious when cornering and braking, as the grip and traction may be different.

Temporary Solution

Spare tyres are meant to be a temporary solution to get you to a repair shop. Visit a professional tyre shop or service station immediately to have your damaged tyre repaired or replaced.


Relying on spare tyres can be quite stressful, especially if you don’t know how long you can drive on it.

While it may be tempting to rely on a spare tyre for an extended period, it is important to remember that spare tyres are just temporary solutions. Repair or replace your regular tyre as soon as possible.

Remember, safety should be your top priority, not saving a few dollars!

Louis from Tyre Geek


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