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Road Users

Use of spare wheels and tyres

Differences between spare wheel, spare tyres and run-flat tyres, roadworthiness testing.

This content is for general information only. It does not, and is not intended to, provide legal or technical advice or to represent a legal interpretation of the matters it addresses.


Frequently asked questions

  • A ‘full size spare wheel’ can immediately replace any wheel on vehicle, will be the same size as other tyres, could be the same brand or a different brand with no limitations to speed and distance.
  • A ‘spare tyre, compact spare tyre or donut tyre’ should only be used to get to the nearest repair centre, are smaller and more lightweight and are usually limited to a maximum speed of 80 km/h.
  • A ‘run-flat tyre’ has a reinforced sidewall which allows continuous driving on a punctured tyre even if it has lost all its air and is limited to a maximum speed of 50 km/h.
Yes. Many vehicles are supplied with a space saver, run-flat tyre or a repair kit instead of a spare wheel. Repair kits include an aerosol-based sealant inflation device. Always consult the manufacturer’s manual before using these. Space saver wheels are intended for emergency purposes only. The speed rating affixed to such tyres should never be exceeded to prevent tyre failure.
No, but at the roadworthiness test a vehicle will fail if the two tyres on the one axle are not the same size or type e.g., radial vs. cross-ply. For best performance the same type of tyre should be fitted in all four-wheel positions.

Yes, a temporary use spare tyre or wheel may be fitted to a passenger vehicle i.e. with passenger accommodation for not more than eight passengers provided that the vehicle is not driven at a speed exceeding 80 km/h and it is only used to get the vehicle to the nearest place of repair. It is not however permitted for any other class of vehicle e.g., public service vehicle, commercial vehicle, bus etc. A temporary use spare tyre or wheel must contain the following information:

CAUTION! TEMPORARY USE ONLY! MAXIMUM 80 km/h! REPLACE BY NORMAL WHEEL AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. DO NOT COVER THIS LABEL IN USE!