When it comes to your vehicle, your tires might be one of the most critical parts of your car. Most of you know that it's important to rotate your tires regularly and check for tread wear. But a flat can happen even with the best maintenance and too many people don't put the same time into their spare.

First, you may want to consider what type of spare you want, a full-size tire or a donut. These two kinds of spares will get the job done, but there are some things to take into consideration:


While a donut is great because it's lighter and cheaper it is also for short-term use only. A donut is basically just supposed to get you back on the road until you can get your tire replaced. You can't usually go over 50 mph on a donut, and some donuts have distant limits for how far they can be driven.

Full-Sized tire

A full-sized tire is bulkier and costs more but can be driven on like any other tire. The biggest issue will be wear difference between the spare that has been sitting in your trunk, and the tires that have been on your car.

Some people opt to keep an extra tire from their used set as a spare when they go in to get tires replaced.

Regardless of if you choose a donut or a full-size tire you're going to want to make sure your spare is in good shape. An excellent way to remember to check your tires is to do it every time you get your tires rotated. When reviewing your spare, you will be looking at:

  • Tire pressure
  • Damage from things like excessive heat
  • And aging

It's essential to have a spare tire in your vehicle, whether it be a donut or a full-size tire. It's just as vital to maintaining your spare regularly so that it will be safe and ready to use when you need it.