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The Importance of Having a Spare Tyre

6 December 2022 AutoMarket, Tips & Advice

Tyres are an essential part of your vehicle, and keeping a spare tyre on hand can save you time and money in the long run.

Flat tyres are inconvenient, to say the least, and when shopping around for a new car you probably aren’t thinking about what you might have to do if you get a flat (which isn’t an uncommon occurrence). 

Most modern vehicles include a “temporary-use” spare tyre that is likely to differ in size and construction from the rest of the vehicle’s tyres and wheels. On the other hand, some cars will not even come with a spare tyre, thanks to increased mobility provided by run-flat tyres or temporary repair and inflation systems.


When are these spare tyres useful?

Spare tyres can be extremely useful in an emergency. You can use your spare tyre as a temporary fix for a flat tyre. They are convenient and are a good substitute for inflator kits or sealants, which require some knowledge to use and can damage your tyres if not used correctly.


Different Kinds of Spare Tyres

1. Full-Size Spares

A full-size spare tyre is the same size as your other tyres. The full-size spare tyre will take up the most space in your car’s boot (if you store it there). Whether matching or non-matching, full-size spares should be part of your regular tyre rotation.


  • Maintains the appearance of your vehicle.
  • Unlike temporary tyres, you will not need to drive straight to a car shop to get a full-size replacement.


  • It takes up a large amount of storage. 
  • When buying new tyres, you'll need to buy 5 instead of 4.


2. Temporary Spares

Temporary spare – Also known as a "donut", this tyre is smaller than the standard tyre on your vehicle. Unlike full-size spares, there will be a noticeable performance difference when driving with a donut. 


  • Won’t take up as much space as a matching full-size spare.


  • ABS, traction control and the speedometer may become less effective.
  • Intended for occasional and limited use to get you to a garage or tyre dealer.


How To Store Your Spare Tyre

Most spare tyres are stored in a spare tyre well, which is a space in the trunk’s centre where the spare tyre is stored when not in use. Many of the vehicles also have bolts and wing nuts that secure the spare tyre in place. To keep the trunk looking nice and clean, manufacturers cover the tyre well with a piece of cardboard and place trunk carpet on top of it. However, there are numerous options for storing spare tyres, including:


Where should you keep your extra tyres?

1) Your spare tyre can be stored in the cradle at the rear of the vehicle. You can also access the cradle from the inside of the trunk, allowing you to store the tyre in the trunk without having to remove anything else. However, the cradle storage option is only available for front-wheel drive vehicles. If we try it on rear-wheel-drive or four-wheel-drive vehicles, the cradle may interfere with the rear axle.

2) Spare tyres are typically mounted outside on the back door of most Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs). However, spare tyres are also mounted on the car’s roof, sides, and front.

3) The spare tyre is typically stored in the front trunk of mid and rear-engined vehicles.

4) Spare tyres were once stored in the engine bays of vehicles such as the Renault 14 and the Subaru Leone.



A spare tyre is a component of a vehicle that serves as a backup in times of emergency. Make sure to check it regularly and learn how to install it.

Interested to learn more car tips? Head on to our Car Research section. We have heaps for you to read.

Or if you’re looking into purchasing a new (or used) car, we have you covered at Motor Matcher Australia!