It is a serious offence to drive with a tyre that doesn’t come up to roadworthy standards. You should also make sure that always have a roadworthy spare tyre in your car too. Tyres are constantly in contact with road surfaces and various things that can damage them, such as nails and broken glass, and as they are absolutely vital to your ability to travel in your car it makes sense to have a spare handy. If one of your tyres is Damaged Beyond Repair and you don't have a replacement spare tyre, then you're not going anywhere!
First of all, you should locate your spare tyre to check that it exists and is in a suitable condition should it be needed in an emergency. The replacement tyre will be located somewhere in the car – usually somewhere obvious (like under the carpet on the floor of the boot, or attached to the back of the car in the case of 4x4s). If you can’t find it, or you’re not sure where to look, check your owner's manual and it should direct you to the right place.
Some cars will have 'run flat' or temporary use spare tyres. Regulations allow the use of 'run flat' tyres in a semi inflated or flat state, as long as they are identified as run-flats. Temporary spare tyres are also permitted but the vehicle speed must not exceed 50 miles per hour and high-inflation pressure should be used - or the special provisions which allow their use are rescinded and do not apply. You should also be aware that temporary use spare tyres are usually a lot smaller than usual tyres and must have a label attached to the wheel giving colour coded information regarding precautions that should be employed when the tyre is in use.
It’s important to familiarise yourself with the tools you will need before you try to change a tyre: no-one wants to be stood in the dark and rain at the side of a busy motorway wondering which one’s the jack and which one’s the wheel brace.
Make sure you have a wheel brace, a car jack and the spare wheel itself - you'll often find the different tools near to or stored in the spare wheel. If your car has alloy wheels or locking wheel nuts then you'll need an alloy key and/or a locking wheel nut tool to get them off.
You’re driving along and you suddenly feel your car pulling very strongly to one side. What do you do?
Disclaimer: The information in the article is for general purpose information only and should not be constituted as legal advice. This article has been produced by a third party and Jardine Motors does not take any responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, or reliability with respect to the website or the information provided. Article last updated March 2016.