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How Fast Can You Drive On A Donut Spare Tire?

How Fast Can You Drive On A Donut Spare Tire?: Donut tires are useful to travel small distances if any one of your vehicle tires is punctured but you cannot drive very fast mounting a donut as it would damage your car.

It is recommended to drive at 50 mph using these spare tires. But do consider the following.

How Fast Can You Drive On A Donut Spare Tire?

A Little about Donut spare tires:

Donut tires (compact spare, temporary spare) are space-saving spare tires that are lightweight and much smaller than the standard size of tires.

Spare tires come in handy in case of a blowout or any other accidental damage that leaves a tire unusable.

However, it is not always very easy to accommodate and carry an additional tire in your car.

Plus, they are more expensive to buy. In these situations, a donut tire is a good substitute for an additional tire as it takes small storage space and is reliable enough to drive your vehicle to the nearby service station.

Maximum speed on a donut Tire:

Donut tires can take you to the auto center so that you could get your flattened tire fixed or replaced but it is not suitable for driving too long or too fast.

These tires allow safe driving up to 50 mph. However, it is not safe to drive a vehicle with a donut tire at a speed higher than that because of its lower size.

And if you exceed the speed limit, your vehicle systems including brakes, transmission, and suspension would be damaged as your car would not be properly balanced due to different sized tires.

Due to the small size of donut tire than the other three tires of the vehicle, it has to spin at a high rate to match the speed of the other tires.

Resultantly, the gears wear out quickly and harm the differential of the car.

What if the donut tire is used for too long?

Temporary spares are designed for driving over a limited distance. That is why these tires are only used to help you to reach the tire shop when your vehicle’s tire gets punctured.

Donut tires can travel safely a distance of 50 miles and if the tire shop is located far away, you may use these for a maximum distance of 70 miles.

However, using donuts for a long journey results in many disadvantages to the components of your vehicle including the wheels, gears, and brakes.

As they have less or no tread, therefore, they offer minimal traction with the road making your vehicle vulnerable to road hazards.

As a result, if you go 200 miles on a donut it will certainly endanger the safety of your vehicle.

Full-size spare tire vs Donut

Donuts are temporary spare tires and due to their compact design, they occupy less space in your vehicle and also provide more gas mileage than full-size spare tires.

Plus, their cost is comparatively lesser. However, these tires are only used for sedans and small automobiles as their small size and minor tread thickness make them unusable with heavier vehicles. 

Large automobiles like heavy trucks and SUVs are equipped with full-size spare tires.

These tires have the same size as the standard tires.

Resultantly, these tires are quite heavy and increase the vehicle’s load index which in turn reduces the gas mileage as more load on wheels gives rise to larger rolling friction.

Highway Driving

Donut tires are not capable of driving your vehicle at high speed because of their less quality tread.

If you drive at a speed higher than 50 mph they can cause serious damage to other parts of the vehicle including its braking system and transmission gears.

Besides that, their tread is capable enough only for short emergency drives and possesses only a few traction qualities.

Therefore, with the donut tires, it is not possible to travel on highways as on highways you have to drive at high speed.

In fact, these tires should never be used for regular driving purposes as it highly impairs the vehicle systems.


  • Donut tires provide a good temporary solution after the blowout and help you reach the automobile shop to replace or repair your tire.
  • These tires are space savers due to their compact structure and also provide good fuel averages.
  • Driving at speeds higher than 50 mph using donuts will damage your vehicles.
  • They can travel a maximum distance of 70 miles.
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