Spare tyre FAQs answered

Monday 24th May 2021

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Spare tyres: everything you need to know

Most of us know that a spare tyre is designed to be used in emergency situations, such as if you experience a puncture. But do you know the rules around spare tyres and MOTs? Or how long space saver spare tyres are designed to last for? Our guide tackles the most frequently asked questions about spare tyres to ensure you’re both as safe and informed as possible.

Spare tyres FAQs

Do new cars come with a spare tyre?

As it is not a legal requirement to carry a spare tyre in your vehicle, new cars are likely to come equipped with a tyre puncture repair kit instead of a spare tyre. A study in 2018 from What Car showed that only 8% of new vehicles came with a full-size spare wheel.

Some of the main reasons why vehicles have moved away from providing a spare tyre include:

  • Lighter – the lighter your vehicle, the better your fuel efficiency, which is more environmentally friendly.
  • Cost – the main reason why vehicle manufacturers are less likely to supply a spare tyre is due to cost. A tyre repair kit costs around £20, whereas a spare tyre costs around £100. Space – a spare tyre takes up a lot more space than a tyre repair kit.

Do you need a spare tyre for an MOT?

Spare tyres are not inspected as part of an MOT test. The tyres and wheels fitted on your vehicle will be inspected for:

  • Tyre size and type
  • Tread depth
  • Condition

Ensure your tyres are ready for your MOT test with help from our guide on common MOT tyre failure causes to avoid.

Is it law to have a spare tyre?

It is not a legal requirement to carry a spare tyre in the UK, but it is recommended. If you do carry a spare tyre, legally, it does not need to be up to legal standards if it is stowed away. However, it’s beneficial to keep up your safety checks in case you need to change your tyre due to a puncture. This includes ensuring the tyre pressure and tyre condition are maintained.

How long can a space saver tyre last?

Generally, when using a space saver tyre, you can travel for around 50 miles and a maximum speed of 50mph on a space saver spare tyre. There is no official restriction on the distance you can travel, however driving on a space saver tyre isn’t recommended as a long term solution. Once you have swapped to a space saver spare tyre, you should look to replace this with a full size new tyre at your local garage as soon as possible.

Does my car have a spare tyre?

If your car is fitted with a spare tyre, this is likely to be found underneath the floor panel in the boot of your vehicle. However, it’s worth noting that not all vehicles have spare tyres. For more information about why spare tyres aren’t as commonly fitted in vehicles now, scroll up to our section on “Do new cars come with a spare tyre?”.

Looking for new tyres? Buy tyres online from Formula One Autocentres today. Alternatively, brush up on your tyre knowledge from our advice section.

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