Informational Guide

How Long Can You Drive On A Spare Tire?

Flat tire? Once your donut is installed, you’ve probably asked, “how long can you drive on a spare tire?” We answer this question and more in our guide.

It’s everyone’s worst nightmare – having a flat tire while far from home. Once you get your donut installed, you have probably asked, “how long can you drive on a spare tire?”

We will not only answer how many miles can you drive on a spare tire but also how fast can you drive on a spare tire?

Full-Size Matching Vs. Non-Matching Spare Tires

The full-size matching is your best option because it is exactly the same tire that you have on the other wheels. Not only will this match the aesthetics, but it’s the safest to drive. However, it’s hard to find the room for a full-size tire in any vehicle. If you use one that is not matching with the other tires, it should be replaced as soon as possible.

Full-Size Temporary Vs. Mini-spare (Donut)

The full-size temporary spare is constructed with lightweight materials and a shallower tread depth. While it matches the vehicle’s specifications, it is only meant as a spare. While these are spare tires, they still require a lot of space, unlike the compact spare tire. These are much smaller and often called a donut tire. You should never drive on a donut much longer than it takes to get to a tire repair shop.

How Long & How Far Can You Drive on a Spare Tire?

How long can I drive on a spare tire? If you are using a full-size match, you can drive as long as you want. These tires mimic the same equipment you are currently using, but you will want to get a new spare in place before something happens.

However, if you are driving on a donut or non-matching spare, you will need to take it easy. These tires are not meant as a long-term solution. How far can I drive on a temporary spare tire? In many cases, you should not drive on a temporary tire for longer than it takes to get to the repair shop.

How Long Can You Drive On A Spare Tire

How Fast Can You Drive On A Spare Tire

How fast should you drive on a spare tire? Again, if you are driving a full-size replacement, you can continue to operate your vehicle as normal, except you don’t want to do anything that would cause another flat tire before you have your spare replaced.

How fast can you drive on a spare tire donut? As far as speed goes, check the tire for the appropriate speed and use it only to get to the local repair shop. In most cases, you won’t want to exceed 50 mph on a donut tire. Can you drive 70 mph on a spare tire? Absolutely not! 

You could blow out the tire as it is not meant to hold up under this kind of pressure. Aside from knowing what’s the fastest you can drive on a spare tire, you also want to understand the other risks involved.

Donut Spare Tires: Know The Risks

As we look at - how far can you drive on a donut spare tire - you must understand that this tire is not meant for long-term travel. You should never use a donut to drive 200 miles. Here are some of the risks involved with using a donut spare tire.

  • Less durable than standard tires
  • Narrower and smaller in size
  • Tire pressure is likely different from your other tires
  • Spare tire has been sitting unused and might be dry-rotted

Safety Tips for Driving with a Spare Tire

Restrict your speed

Knowing how fast you can drive on a spare tire helps you understand the speed you should travel. Look on the side of the tire for recommendations, but you should never drive more than 50 mph on a donut tire.

Limit your distance

As you examine the answers to how long can you drive on a donut, remember to keep the distance limited. Drive only to the tire repair shop to be safe.

Turn with care

The handling might be uneven with your donut spare tire. Therefore, you want to be careful around turns, ensuring you never lose control of the vehicle.

Replace the spare with a new tire ASAP

It’s important that you have the tire replaced as soon as possible. If you can do this yourself, make sure you use the best tire changer and wheel balancer combo.

Safety Tips For Driving With A Spare Tire

People Also Ask (FAQs)

How many PSI should a spare tire have? Where can the car owner find this information?

Each spare tire is going to require a different amount of pressure. On the sidewall of the spare, you should be able to locate the recommended tire pressure. Additionally, you want to check on the spare often to ensure it hasn’t lost any pressure while being stored

Can you drive on the highway with a spare tire?

While you could drive on the highway, as long as you stay under the recommended speed limit, it’s not advisable. Ideally, you should look for a route to the tire repair shop that doesn’t utilize highway roads, just in case you experience a blowout.

Why do they call a spare tire a donut?

At one point, full-size tires were always used for spares. Eventually, the compact, smaller size was designed. Because this tire is skinnier and smaller but still uses the same lug spacing, it was termed a donut. You won't find the full-size spare being called a donut tire.

What can I use instead of jack stands?

Most car owners don’t carry around new tire installed in the vehicle. However, when you have a flat tire, you will need to lift the car to replace the tire. In these cases, it’s best just to use the scissors jack supplied with your car. Make sure you don’t go under the vehicle while it is up on the jack.


How far can you drive on a donut? Not as far as you would probably like. Instead, you should focus on getting to the repair shop as safely as possible.