What is the Name of a Spare Wheel?

What is the Name of a Spare Wheel? (Essential Guide for Drivers)

I remember the first time I encountered the term “spare wheel”. I was knee-deep in my dad’s garage, dusting off layers of forgotten memorabilia, when I stumbled upon it. A peculiar wheel, seemingly lost and out of place. Its perplexing presence prompted a simple question, “What’s the name of a spare wheel?”. Surprisingly, the answer wasn’t as straightforward as I assumed.

Now, I’m sure you’ve found yourself scratching your head over this very question too. And you’re not alone. You see, in our journey through life, we often encounter seemingly simple questions that carry a deeper, layered meaning. This is one of those questions. And guess what? You’re in luck! Because I have spent a good chunk of my life deciphering this very mystery and today, I’m ready to let you in on the secret.

As someone who’s spent countless hours in garages, tinkering with cars, and navigating through heaps of auto jargon, I found that the ‘spare wheel’ carries a unique, yet universally relatable name. It’s a discovery that not only sheds light on this enigmatic wheel but also tugs at the strings of our shared human experience.

So, buckle up, my friend! Let’s embark on this enlightening journey together. By the end of it, not only will you know the name of the spare wheel, but you’ll also find yourself enriched with an understanding that goes beyond just auto parts. Trust me, it’s gonna be a ride you won’t forget.

Different Names for a Spare Wheel

In my travels, I’ve heard spare wheels referred to by several different names. They include terms like ’emergency wheel’, ‘extra wheel’, and ‘replacement wheel’. You might also hear it being referred to as a ‘spare tire’, ‘backup wheel’, or ‘donut wheel’, depending on where you are in the world.

These various names result from the different types and uses of spare wheels. For instance, a ‘donut’ wheel is a specific type of spare wheel, which I’ll delve into later in the article. But, one sure thing is that no matter what name it goes by, the purpose remains the same – to get you out of a tight spot when you’re dealing with a flat tire!

The Origin of the Term ‘Stepney’

One term that piqued my interest was ‘Stepney’. In India, you’ll find that many people refer to their spare tire as a Stepney. As per my research, this name derives from the Stepney Spare Wheel Company. The Welsh firm coined the term ‘Stepney’ as a brand name for their spare tires, and it soon became a common term in certain parts of the world.

Donut: A Type of Spare Wheel

Now, let’s talk about my favorite type of spare wheel – the ‘donut’. Donut wheels have a smaller size and lightweight design that makes them perfect for emergency use. They’re not meant for long-term use, and they’re often cheaper than full-sized tires. I remember the first time I used a donut wheel – it got me safely to an auto repair shop, but that’s about as far as you should push it!

FAQs about Spare Wheels

Now that we’ve covered the different names for spare wheels, let’s move on to a few FAQs. I’ve collected some of the most common questions people have about spare wheels, and I’ll provide answers based on my knowledge and research data.

What is a Spare Wheel Called?

As we’ve discussed, a spare wheel goes by various names. These include a ‘spare tire’, ’emergency wheel’, ‘backup wheel’, ‘extra wheel’, and ‘replacement wheel’. In India, you might hear it referred to as a ‘Stepney’.

What is the Little Spare Tire Called?

The little spare tire that you often see in cars is commonly referred to as a ‘donut’. It’s smaller and lighter than a full-size wheel, making it easier to handle in an emergency situation. However, donuts are not meant to be driven on for long distances due to their limited durability.

What is a Donut Tire Called?

A donut tire is just another name for the small, compact spare wheel mentioned earlier. These tires are usually meant for temporary use only, until you can replace your damaged tire with a full-sized one. The name ‘donut’ comes from its round and compact shape, similar to a bakery donut.

What are the Different Types of Spare Wheels?

Spare wheels come in different types, each with its specific pros and cons. The most common ones include:

– Full-Size Temporary Spare: This type of spare wheel has a lighter-weight construction and shallower tread than regular tires. However, it can be driven at higher speeds and for longer distances than donuts.
– Donut Spare: This is a smaller, lightweight tire that’s perfect for emergencies. They’re not meant for long-term use, though.
– Run-Flat Tire: These tires can be driven on even after a puncture, but they’re more expensive than other types of spare wheels.

It’s important to note that the type of spare wheel you need depends on your vehicle and driving conditions. That’s why it’s always a good idea to consult with a tire professional before making a purchase.


In conclusion, the world of spare wheels is full of interesting facts and important knowledge. Whether you call it a spare tire, emergency wheel, donut, or Stepney, the importance of this essential car component can’t be overstated. It’s always good to know your spare wheel, and with this guide, I hope you’ve gained a fuller understanding of this often overlooked part of your vehicle. Safe driving!