Can I drive a car with a flat tyre?

Hearing that sudden bang and the unmistakable flap-flap-flap of a flat tyre can be heartbreaking, particularly if you’re miles from home or the nearest garage. So what do you do if you’ve suffered from a flat tyre? How far can you drive? What can you do about it? Let Scrap Car Comparison guide you through everything you need to know. 

If your tyre has blown out and caused significant damage, you may find that it’s actually quicker, easier and makes more economic sense to scrap the car, rather than go through the cost and time of repairs. If this is the case, speak to one of our friendly advisors who’ll be more than happy to find the very best price that your car could fetch as scrap or salvage.

What happens if you drive on a flat tyre?

Driving on a flat tyre is certainly not something we would advise you to do. For starters, the Highway Code requires that all of your tyres must be inflated to the correct pressures. By default, then, a flat tyre means your tyre is no longer in a roadworthy condition and therefore you are driving in contravention of the Highway Code, and thus, illegally.

Aside from the legal issues you could find yourself in, driving on a flat tyre can cause even more damage than just needing a fresh set of rubber. The longer you drive on a flat tyre, the more chance you have of the rubber beginning to break away, which could result in your wheel rim beginning to make contact with the road itself. If this happens, you could find yourself needing an entire new hub, rather than just a tyre, adding much more to your final repair bill.

How far can you drive on a flat tyre?

It is not advisable to drive any distance on a flat tyre at all. Putting any amount of driving force through a wheel with a punctured tyre could result in even more damage to both the tyre and the wheel. Not only does this increase the likelihood of an expensive repair bill, but also means you are far more likely to be involved in an accident if (or when) your tyre finally lets go completely, thus putting yourself and all other road users in unnecessary levels of danger.

How far can you drive on a run-flat tyre?

Run-flat tyres are specially designed tyres with reinforced sidewalls – effectively meaning that if there is a sudden loss of pressure, the tyre can stay rigid despite there being no air in it at all. However, this doesn’t mean they’re indestructible. 

A run-flat is designed to get you to your nearest garage or tyre centre without having to get out a spare tyre on the side of a busy road. Every manufacturer will differ in their own guides as to what you can do with a run-flat, although most will allow speeds of up to 55mph. If you are running on run-flats, it is recommended you don’t drive any further than 50 miles on them.

Can you legally drive with a flat tyre?

As we’ve mentioned above, the Highway Code states that your tyres must always be inflated to the correct pressures. If you have a flat tyre, then at least one of those pressures is definitely going to be below acceptable standards – you’ll certainly never find a manufacturer recommending pressures of 0psi. 

Driving with a flat or damaged tyre could see you slapped with a hefty fine. The DVLA does not look kindly on punctured, flat, damaged or even tyres without enough pressure, and you could face a fine of up to £2,500, three penalty points and even a driving ban if it is deemed that you are driving your car in a dangerous condition.

Can you drive a car with a nail in the tyre?

If you stop to check your car and see that there is a nail or screw embedded, your instinct may be to remove it to stop anything from getting worse. In actual fact that may be one of the worst things you could do, as you could end up making the puncture worse as you pull the offending debris out. You may also find that the nail or screw could be pushed in far enough that it’s actually helping keep the tyre inflated by stopping even more air from escaping.

The safest thing to do is to drive to the nearest garage or tyre centre to get it professionally fixed or replaced. Be sure to drive carefully and make sure it is the closest place possible – driving for longer distances could result in a tyre blowout, putting yourself and other road users in danger.

Get the best price with Scrap Car Comparison

Significant damage as a result of a tyre blowout could see you needing more than just a new set of rubber to get the car back on the road. If the damage has totted up a repair bill that you just can’t afford, then why not give the team at Scrap Car Comparison a call? We can get you the very best price, no matter the car’s condition, and we’ll even come and collect it from you, free of charge, wherever you call home.

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