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A flat tyre after a puncture or loss of air pressure

What Is A Run Flat Tyre? What Does Runflat Mean? [Answered]

Ever gotten a flat while driving on the highway?

Flat tyres are inconvenient at best, dangerous at worst. Run flat tyres aim to make getting a flat tyre a slightly less worse experience, by letting you drive for a short distance even after a puncture.

What Does Run Flat Tyre Mean?

A run-flat tyre is a specialised tyre designed to continue functioning even after a puncture or loss of air pressure.

Unlike conventional tyres, run-flat tyres feature reinforced sidewalls that can temporarily support the weight of the vehicle, allowing you to drive to a repair shop without the need to change the tyre immediately.

How Do Run Flat Tyres Work?

To get a good grasp on how run flat tyres work, we need to understand their construction and unique features.

The key component that sets run flat tyres apart is the reinforced sidewall, which is made of a robust material like rubber combined with additional supporting elements.

When a puncture occurs, the reinforced sidewalls help bear the weight of the vehicle, preventing the tyre from collapsing entirely.

Types Of Run Flat Tyres

Self-Supporting Run Flat Tyres

These tyres feature reinforced sidewalls that support the weight of the vehicle when deflated.

Self-supporting run flat tyres are commonly used in a variety of car models and offer convenience and peace of mind in the event of a puncture.

Support Ring Run Flat Tyres

This type of run flat tyre employs an additional support ring attached to the wheel, which helps carry the weight of the vehicle when the tyre loses air pressure.

Support ring run flat tyres are often found in some high-performance vehicles and offer excellent stability even in emergency situations.

Pros And Cons Of Run Flat Tyres


Enhanced Safety

Run flat tyres enable you to maintain better control over your vehicle even with a puncture, reducing the risk of accidents and improving safety.


No more changing tyres on the side of the road or waiting for roadside assistance. With run flat tyres, you can drive on to a nearby repair facility.


Run flat tyres eliminate the need for a spare tyre, freeing up space in your vehicle and reducing overall weight, which can contribute to better fuel efficiency.


Limited Driving Distance

While run flat tyres offer temporary mobility, their range is limited, typically up to 80 kilometres. This means you still need to address the issue promptly.

Ride Comfort

The reinforced sidewalls of run flat tyres can result in a slightly stiffer ride compared to conventional tyres.


Run flat tyres are not always repairable, and in some cases, they may need replacement after sustaining damage.

Are Run Flat Tyres Right For You?

Deciding whether run flat tyres are suitable for your vehicle depends on your driving habits, preferences, and priorities.

If you value the added safety and convenience they offer and don’t mind the trade-offs, run-flat tyres might be a great choice for you, especially if you frequently drive in areas with limited access to repair services.


Run flat tyres can be a game-changer for some drivers, providing peace of mind and added safety.

Now that you understand what run flat tyres are and how they work, you can make an informed decision about whether they suit your driving needs best.

Safe travels!

Louis from Tyre Geek


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