How Far Can You Drive On A Spare Tire?

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Installing a spare tire is a safe choice rather than driving on flat tires! Although, having a spare tire can’t give you superior performance like normal tires. But, you can continue your drive for a short distance!

So, how far can you drive on a spare tire?

You can safely drive on a spare tire for 50 miles. More than 70 miles is unsafe as it increases accidental risk, causes damage to vehicle parts and reduces overall vehicle performance. Full-size spare tires can drive 100 miles, depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations.

I address all the questions involved in using these vital spare tires as backups in this guide. Also, you will learn the limitation of mileage, and important considerations for driving safely on a spare tire with this entire article.

How far can you drive on a spare tire?

Having a spare tire is just an option when you can’t afford a new tire replacement. Once more, you should only use this in an emergency. Driving on a spare tire is not dangerous, but there’s also a limitation.

Spare tires can not provide the same durability, handling, or traction as regular tires. So, you must follow the exact rules for using spare tires until you have a new tire replacement.

The rule of thumb is you should only drive up to 70 miles with a spare tire. And driving on a spare tire for 50 miles is safe!

Types of spare tires:

Spare tires generally differ in size and shape from traditional tires. There are also a few types of spare tires available. Based on their features and advantages, let’s see how long they are safe. 

a) Donut tires

Donut tires are temporary tires. It is used for the replacement of a flat or damaged tire. It is smaller in diameter and has a narrow width than traditional tires. They are just life-saving temporary options.

How long they last: You shouldn’t drive longer with these temporary tires. Driving 50 miles with a donut tire is safe. And, remember, you should drive at a low speed with donut tires. The speed should be at most 50 mph.

b) Full-size spare tires

Full-size spare tires are similar in size to standard tires. These tires are for SUVs or trucks, as they need storage space. They have good longevity and better handling than donut tires. It will also have a similar feel to the new standard tire. 

How long they last: Generally, you can drive 100 miles safely on a full-size spare tire. But, It is better to read the owner’s manual instructions to know the recommended speed and miles for a full-size spare tire. Depending on the model and brand, the speed and miles can vary.

Why is It Dangerous Driving on Your Spare Tire for Too Long?

Driving on a spare tire for longer miles isn’t safe at all. There are several reasons behind the mileage limitation of spare tires. Let’s know the reason below-

1. Wear out faster

Spare tires have a smaller diameter and narrower tread depth. They are also lighter as well. As a result, spare tires wear out faster than regular tires. 

Again, the tires are highly inflated when they’re not in use. Hence, it causes additional stress on tire components and resulting uneven wear. 

2. Damage to the vehicle’s part

Spare tires have different tread patterns, sizes and load capabilities than regular tires. So, it is hard to take a sharp corner, handling and instant short-distance braking. 

There’s also a difference in rotational speeds. Hence, uneven balance and traction cause damage to the vehicle parts. Such as, it can harm the heating, steering system, transmission, suspension, and brakes.

3. Reduce overall performance

Spare tires can’t compete with the heavy load of vehicles as they are smaller in size. This is much more difficult to handle, steering and rotating the car like traditional tires. 

So, it can affect the stability, durability, steering and braking performance whether it is used for a longer time.

4. Increase the accidental risk

Using a spare tire a high speed isn’t safe at all. Therefore, driving on a highway with a spare tire can cause an unexpected accident.

Again, you need instant steering response which can’t be found accurately on the maximum spare tire. That’s why using a spare tire has limitations on mileage and time.

5. Not suitable for bad climate weather

Never rely on a spare tire in bad weather. With tough terrain or slippery wet roads, you can’t expect a superior grip like a traditional tire. 

What Are the Things to Consider When Using a Spare Tire?

You must be aware of some factors you must consider while driving on spare tires. It’ll also ensure safety and enhance the spare tire’s durability.

1. Properly inflated tire

Before replacing the flat tire with a spare tire, make sure the tire is properly inflated. Underinflated tires can affect handling and steering. Again, the tire will wear out faster with improperly inflated tires. 

Tips: Regular inspection of the spare tire pressure even though it is not in use, is crucial to ensuring safe driving.

2. Speed and driving conditions

You must be careful with the maximum speed at which you can drive the vehicle. You should drive with spare tires at a maximum speed of 50mph.

Also, you can’t make hard stops or abrupt turns with these temporary spare tires. That’s why using spare tires must avoid highways and rough terrain.

3. Ensure extra space and time to brake

As, your standard tire has a more firm, accurate and direct steering response. So, you must have a habit of using the brake at any time as it is safe.

But, the steering response won’t be as accurate with spare tires as with traditional tires. Therefore, you must use the brake system early with extra space and time to prevent unwanted accidental risks.

4. Avoid driving in harsh weather

You need to be more careful when driving in harsh weather conditions because spare tires have less traction and hydroplaning resistance than traditional tires. 

Your spare tire can also damage due to the excess strain on it for handling tough terrain. So, it is safe to avoid driving on a spare tire in harsh weather. 


Can you drive 200 miles on a spare tire?

You can drive 200 miles on a spare tire, but it increases the accidental risk. It can cause damage to your vehicle’s parts. So, it is safe to drive only 50 miles when it’s an emergency! 

Do spare tires last long?

The 10-year manufacturer’s warranty covers full-size spare tires. Depending on the driving condition, tread depth, and maintenance, it is hard to tell how long your spare tire will rust. Even if you do not use your spare tire, make sure it is thoroughly inspected. This will maximize durability and avoid needless repair or replacement. 

Should you drive slower with a spare tire?

Yes, you should drive slowly with a spare tire because a faster speed can impact a vehicle’s overall performance and durability. You may lose control of your car, as it will offer little traction and handling like a standard tire. That’s why you should drive more carefully and slowly to prevent any damage or accidents with a spare tire.

Can I drive on a spare tire for a week?

You can drive on a full-size spare tire that is the same size as your original tire for a week. But make sure it is in good condition. That means you can use properly inflated full-size spare tires without uneven wear and damage for a week. Instead of using a spare tire, quick replacement is a safer option! 


Be on time to replace the flat tire, even though you have a spare tire option. Using a spare tire is a temporary solution.

So, you should rely on something other than the average performance of a spare tire for a longer time. You may lose the superior performance of your vehicle with the longer use of spare tires.

However, maintaining a spare tire is crucial, as it can help you anytime.

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