All You Need to Know About Run-Flat Tyres

Know the key differences between RFT and Tubeless Tyres

Flat tyres are a common inconvenience for drivers around the world. Whether you're commuting to work or embarking on a road trip, a flat tyre can quickly derail your plans and turn a smooth journey into a stressful ordeal. However, due to advancements in automotive technology, there's a solution that can minimize the impact of a flat tyre on your travels: run flat tyres. In this blog, we will explore what run flat tyres are, their benefits, and how they differ from conventional tyres and flat tyre repair methods.

What are run flat tyres?

Run flat tyres, also called RFTs, are a specialized type of tyre designed to allow you to continue driving safely for a limited distance after experiencing a puncture or flat tyre. They are engineered with reinforced sidewalls that support the weight of the vehicle even when there is little to no air pressure in the tyre.

Unlike traditional tyres, run flat tyres are constructed to endure the loss of air pressure without immediately collapsing. This unique design ensures that you can maintain control of your vehicle and continue driving for a specific distance, typically up to 50 miles at moderate speeds, after a flat tyre occurs.

Are run flat tyres and tubeless tyres the same?

Run-flat tires and tubeless tires are not the same. Tubeless tires lack an inner tube, relying on an airtight seal between the tire and wheel rim to hold air. Run-flat tires, on the other hand, have reinforced sidewalls that allow them to temporarily continue supporting the vehicle's weight even after losing air pressure, typically for a limited distance.

How Run Flat tyres work?

Run flat tyres incorporate several key design features that enable them to function effectively during a flat tyre situation:

1. Reinforced sidewalls:

The critical component of run flat tyres is their reinforced sidewalls. These sidewalls are made of sturdy materials that provide support to the tyre even when it has lost air pressure. This reinforcement allows the tyre to bear the weight of the vehicle and prevent it from collapsing.

2. Self-supporting structure:

Run flat tyres have a self-supporting structure that enables them to maintain their shape, even with reduced air pressure. This structural integrity ensures that the tyre can continue to roll, albeit at a reduced speed, after a puncture.

3. Heat-resistant rubber:

Run flat tyres are often constructed with specialized rubber compounds that can withstand the heat generated during low-pressure operation, reducing the risk of tyre failure.

4. Warning system:

Many vehicles equipped with run flat tyres are also fitted with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS). This system alerts the driver when a tyre has lost pressure, allowing them to take appropriate action.

Run flat tyres vs. conventional tyres

Now that we've covered the basics of run flat tyres, let's compare them to conventional tyres to understand their key differences:


Run flat tyres

Conventional tyres

Ability to drive on a flat

Run flat tyres allow you to continue driving for a limited distance after a puncture.

Conventional tyres will go flat, requiring immediate repair or replacement.

No spare tyre needed

Run flat tyres can be driven on when flat, there's no need to carry a spare tyre in your vehicle.

Conventional tyres require a spare tyre.

Ride comfort

Ride comfort is less noticeable in modern run flat tyre designs.

Conventional tyres generally offer a smoother and more comfortable ride since they don't have the reinforced sidewalls.

Handling and control

Run flat tyres are engineered to maintain better handling and control during a flat tyre situation, reducing the risk of accidents and ensuring safer driving.

There’s more risk of accidents.

Limited range

While run flat tyres provide the advantage of continued driving after a flat, they are limited by distance and speed.

Conventional tyres, when properly inflated, do not have these limitations.

The benefits of run flat tyres

Now that you understand what run flat tyres are and how they differ from conventional tyres, let's explore the advantages of choosing run flat tyres for your vehicle:

1. Safety:

Run flat tyres enhance safety by allowing you to maintain control of your vehicle even after a flat tyre occurs. This can be especially crucial in emergency situations or when driving in adverse weather conditions.

2. Convenience:

With run flat tyres, you can avoid the hassle of changing a flat tyre on the side of the road or waiting for roadside assistance. You can continue driving to a safe location or a nearby service center.

3. Space and weight savings:

Since run flat tyres eliminate the need for a spare tyre, you can free up valuable cargo space in your vehicle and reduce its overall weight, potentially improving fuel efficiency.

4. Peace of mind:

Knowing that you have run flat tyres on your vehicle can provide peace of mind, reducing anxiety about flat tyre incidents and their potential consequences.

5. Extended mobility:

Run flat tyres give you the ability to reach a flat tyre repair shop or service station, eliminating the need for immediate repairs or replacements.

6. Compatibility:

Run flat tyres are compatible with most modern vehicles that come equipped with a TPMS and can be retrofitted to some older models.

How to repair punctured Run-Flat Tyres?

Despite their numerous benefits, run flat tyres are not immune to damage, and when they are punctured or damaged, they do require attention. Here's what you need to know about repairing run flat tyres:

1. Inspection:

If you suspect your run flat tyre has been punctured or damaged, it's crucial to have it inspected as soon as possible. Continuing to drive on a damaged run flat tyre can lead to irreversible damage.

2. Repair guidelines:

Not all punctures on run flat tyres can be repaired. The location, size, and type of damage will determine if a flat tyre repair is possible. It's essential to follow manufacturer guidelines and consult with a professional technician.

3. Professional assistance:

Repairs of run flat tyres should be conducted by experienced technicians who are familiar with the unique construction and requirements of these tyres.

4. Replacement:

In some cases, if the damage is extensive or in an irreparable location, the run flat tyre may need to be replaced. Always consult with a professional for guidance.

5. TPMS reset:

After any repair or replacement of run flat tyres, ensure that your vehicle's TPMS is reset and calibrated to monitor tyre pressure accurately.


Run flat tyres are a remarkable innovation that has significantly improved the safety and convenience of driving. They offer extended mobility in the event of a flat tyre, eliminating the need for immediate roadside tyre changes. However, it's essential to remember that while run flat tyres provide numerous benefits, they are not immune to damage, and proper maintenance and timely inspection are crucial to ensuring their effectiveness and longevity. If you value safety, convenience, and peace of mind on the road, considering run flat tyres for your vehicle is a smart choice.

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