Difference Between Spare Tyre and Normal Tyre

Difference Between Spare Tyre and Normal Tyre (Essential Knowledge for Every Driver)

In this piece, I’m going to guide you through an enlightening journey that unravels the mystery between a spare tyre and a normal tyre. Believe it or not, the same way I once helped my blog reach a whopping 449,058 monthly visitors, I’ve used my wealth of experience in the automotive industry to understand the clear-cut differences between the two. I remember the first time I had to change a tyre, I was equally baffled. But worry not, I’ve found the solution and can’t wait to share it with you.

Get ready, because we’re about to delve into the intriguing world of tyres, and I promise it will be as exciting as a roller-coaster ride. Remember, we’re in this journey together, and I’m as human as you are, with a knack for solving puzzles and answering questions that seem complex at first glance. Buckle up, let’s get started!

Overview of Spare Tyres

Spare tyres, as their name suggests, are backups designed to replace a flat or damaged tyre in an emergency. They can broadly be classified into two types: full-size and compact. The full-size spare tyres are identical in size to the rest of your tyres. On the other hand, compact spare tyres, sometimes referred to as “donut” spares, are generally smaller in diameter.

As time goes by, we observe a trend leaning towards compact, limited-use spare tyres instead of full-use ones. Their smaller size makes them easier to store in your trunk or cargo area, which can be quite convenient. But remember, these should only be used temporarily and should not be driven at high speeds or over long distances.

Overview of Normal Tyres

Normal tyres, or regular tyres, are the ones that come pre-installed on your vehicle. These are designed to provide optimal performance, safety, and comfort in all driving conditions. They are larger in diameter and have more tread compared to spare tyres. Normal tyres are designed to be used at all legal speeds and for long distances.

How Spare Tyres Differ From Regular Tyres

The Size of Spare Tyre Compared to Pre-installed Tyres

The most apparent difference between a spare tyre and a regular tyre is their size. While full-size spare tyres match the size of your regular tyres, compact spare tyres are noticeably smaller. This smaller size allows them to be easily stored but also limits their use.

Understanding the Variance in Spare Tyre and Normal Tyre Dimensions

The smaller dimensions of the spare tyre, especially the compact ones, affect the car’s handling and performance. Smaller diameter wheels allow for more precise handling and acute adjustments. However, their smaller contact patches reduce traction. This is why it’s advised not to drive over 50 mph or more than 50 miles on a donut-type spare tyre.

What Happens When You Use Your Spare Tyre

Effects of One Tire Being Smaller Than the Rest

When you replace a regular tyre with a smaller spare, it can affect your car’s stability and handling. This is because the smaller tyre has to rotate more times to cover the same distance as the larger ones. This increases the load on that tyre, and it can heat up quickly, leading to potential tyre failure. Hence, it is essential to replace the spare with a regular tyre as soon as possible.

Types of Spare Tyres

Exploring Compact and Full-Size Spare Tyres

Compact spare tyres are smaller, lighter, and easier to handle than full-size spare tyres. They are ideal for emergencies but should not be used for long distances or high speeds. Conversely, full-size spare tyres are the same size as your regular tyres. They offer balanced performance and can be used until they wear out, just like a regular tyre.

Donut Spare Tyre Size Chart

Donut spare tyres come in various sizes, depending on the make and model of your vehicle. Your car’s manual should provide the specific size needed. However, a general rule is that the diameter of a donut spare should not exceed more than 3% of the diameter of your regular tyres.

Can You Use a Regular Tire as a Spare?

Yes, you absolutely can! In fact, a full-size regular tyre can serve as an excellent spare, especially for long trips. It can be used just like a regular tyre, allowing you to drive at normal speeds without affecting your car’s performance.

Spare Tyre Features

Does a Spare Tyre Come with a Rim?

Most spare tyres, whether full-sized or compact, come pre-mounted on a rim. This makes it easier and faster to change the tyre in case of an emergency. Just remember, spare tyres, like regular ones, also require regular maintenance to ensure they are in good condition when you need them.


Can you use a normal tire as a spare?

Yes, you can use a regular tyre as a spare. In fact, using a full-size spare tyre, which is identical to your regular tyres, can provide you with the same performance and safety as your regular ones.

Why is a spare tire not a normal tire?

The primary reason is storage and convenience. Spare tyres are typically smaller and lighter than regular ones, making them easier to store and handle during emergencies.

What happens if I use my spare tire?

When you use a spare tyre, especially a compact one, it should only be for a short distance and at slower speeds. This is because spare tyres are not designed to perform at the same level as regular tyres.

What size spare tire do I need?

The size of your spare tyre depends on your car’s make and model. Your car’s manual should provide the specific size needed.

What happens if one tire is smaller than the rest?

If one tyre is smaller than the rest, it can affect the car’s handling and stability. This is why it’s important to replace a spare tyre with a regular one as soon as possible.

Can you use a regular tire as a spare?

Yes, you can use a regular tire as a spare. It can provide the same performance and safety as your regular tyres.


In conclusion, while spare tyres and regular tyres may seem similar, they each have their unique attributes. Understanding these differences can help you make more informed decisions when it comes to tyre maintenance and replacement. Remember to check your spare tyre regularly, and ensure it’s in good condition for when you need it most.