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Knowledge Base

Run Flat Tyres

With the growing popularity of run flat tyres and an increasing number of manufacturers using them as recommended original and replacement equipment, Easywheels.co.uk have put together this guide, filled with everything you need to know about Run Flat tyres.

The increase in the number of cars using run flats is largely down to the perceived security and safety enhancements, although, as you'll see throughout this guide, they're not for everyone, and safety isn't the only reason for buying Run Flats.

At Easywheels.co.uk we not only stock a huge selection of conventional and run flat tyres at seriously low prices but we also aim to give you all the information you need to make the best decision for you and your vehicle. If you're confused at any point or simply want to know more about run flat tyres then feel free to use the chat tool in the bottom right of the site or give us a call on 0333 9000 201.

What should you know?

As mentioned above, run flat tyres aren't for everyone. They can affect the vehicle's handling and performance, particularly when fitted to a car that hasn't been designed to drive on run flats. To save you spending money on tyre technology you don't need we've gathered all the information on what you should know about run flats below.

So here are some of the ways in which run flat tyres can affect your vehicle:

  • Reinforced sidewalls - Regardless of which manufacturers option you decide to use, the fact is run flat tyres will have reinforced and stiffer sidewalls. This is to support the tyre in the event of a puncture or sudden loss of pressure and in combination with each manufacturer's own technology the tyre will keep you on the move. However as you'll notice in this guide, the caveat is often a slightly harder ride than on conventional tyres.
  • Limited extra life - Sadly a run flat tyre won't keep you going for ever after a puncture and although the advice differs between brands and manufacturers, generally they are safe to drive on for a further 50 miles (80km) at a maximum speed of 50mph. This is usually enough to either get people home or to a garage without the inconvenience of waiting on the side of the road for a recovery truck or changing a tyre in the dark. Remember to always check the advice from your manufacturer.
  • Suspension - Due to the way in which the tyre is constructed and the stiffer sidewalls, vehicle manufacturers set the suspension on their vehicles to work in association with the run flat tyre to ensure a smooth ride without compromising on control or performance. This is the main reason Easywheels.co.uk don't advise switching to or from run flats without consulting your vehicle manufacturer or one of the Easywheels.co.uk team in the first instance.
  • Switching to/from run flats - So, the question we get asked all the time is can I switch my tyres to or from run flats? Technically, yes, the tyres will fit and they will run on the car but as you've already seen above there are a number of reasons why this isn't always a great idea, particularly without contacting an expert in the first instance. Despite this, it is possible and many of the Easywheels.co.uk fitting stations will be able to set up your vehicles suspension and handling to work alongside run flat tyres or conventional tyres if you're thinking about switching.

Why choose run flat tyres?

There are a number of reasons why you might want to put run flat tyres on your vehicle and why there has been a recent resurgence in their use as original equipment from major manufacturers including the likes of BMW and Mercedes. With a whole host of new technologies and designs, run flats have come a long way and now offer the convenience of continuing your journey even after a puncture without some of the drawbacks faced in past designs.

Run flat tyre lifespan/longevity ? One of the common misconceptions with run flat tyres is the life span with many assuming that due to the added technology and performance of the tyre its lifespan is shorter. This isn't the case thankfully or else the benefits of using run flat tyres would soon be lost with the need to replace them more often. Run flat tyres won't necessarily last any longer than conventional tyres will but they certainly won't wear any faster on average.

  • Safety - When driving along the last thing you want to experience is a blowout, send the car swerving in all different directions whilst you remain powerless and at the mercy of chance. With run flat tyres, even experiencing a sudden loss of pressure from a puncture or damage, the tyres will keep you going forward without any scary lurches toward the central reservation.
  • Safety again! - Nobody likes the idea of having to bend down and change a tyre on the side of a busy road or motorway. With run flats you no longer have to worry about this, you'll be able to drive to a garage or head home and change the tyre safely on your driveway.
  • Space - Run flat tyres mean that you no longer need to keep that dreaded spare tyre in the boot. Having no spare tyre frees up an incredible amount of space and makes life that little bit easier when packing for long journeys or coming back from the supermarket.
  • Fuel efficient - Losing the spare wheel means your car is about 20-25Kg lighter which will help you to save money when driving around.
  • Convenience - Late for a meeting? On your way somewhere important? These are just a few of the scenarios in which run flat tyres really do come in to their own. Eliminating the need to stop and change the tyre or wait for recovery, run flats are convenient and keep you going when others won't.

What to watch out for

This all sounds great so far but lots of people call Easywheels.co.uk having heard of other peoples negative experiences with run flat tyres or they are unsure as to whether they really are all singing and dancing. So, in the spirit of giving a balanced and honest argument, we're going to take a look at some of the answers to the common questions: Why shouldn't I buy run flat tyres? And why are run flat tyres bad?

Remember, changing from one kind of tyre to another isn't recommended by manufacturers and is only ever advised in consultation with Easywheels.co.uk fitting stations that may be able to set the suspension and handling to suit the change.

You might not consider everything below to be a disadvantage but we've listed it anyway so you've got the full picture.

  • Repairs - Generally speaking run flat tyres cannot be repaired once punctured or damaged and usually have to be replaced. This is because of the increased pressure and forces going to work on the tyre after the initial sudden loss of pressure. However, if you wake up to find the tyre flat and don't drive more than a couple of miles/at all on it, it's possible it can be repaired in a similar way to conventional tyres. As always, there are exceptions to the rules and these depend on the manufacturer and product so please always check the manufacturer's guidelines or call one of the team for advice.
  • No spare tyre - With run flats you have the convenience of not having to stop and change the tyre after experiencing a puncture, however, without the spare tyre you're limited to how far you can go without replacing the damaged tyre. Some people do prefer to have the spare tyre and make the change which will allow them to continue driving until they have the opportunity to stop for a new one (this really comes down to personal preference).
  • Costs - For a long time run flat tyres have been considered an expensive option, pricing many of those looking for budget and mid-range tyres out of the run flat market. Whilst you'll still pay a slight premium against a conventional tyre the difference is hardly what it used to be with a range of budget and mid-range manufacturers producing run flat tyres from the £50 mark upwards. So whilst we do still stock and often recommend the premium run flat tyres from the likes of Pirelli and Bridgestone, Easywheels.co.uk is now increasing its stock of budget and mid-range run flat tyres.
  • Firmer ride - Whilst BMW and many other manufacturers set their suspension and braking up to accommodate the run flat tyres, many people do still report a firmer ride when driving on run flat tyres. Not everyone enjoys this firmer ride although some prefer it and claim it gives them a feeling of greater control and improved handling.

Dispelling some myths

Here we're going to try and put right a few common misconceptions that many people have about run flat tyres helping you to make the best and most informed choice possible.

  • They're harder to find - Like the previously mentioned issue about price, this might have been true five years ago but today with a whole host of manufacturers bringing out their own run flat tyres they're easier than ever to come by. This is particularly true when shopping online for tyres or via Easywheels.co.uk where you can find over 20,000 different tyres in stock at any one time.
  • They're really expensive - Well as we've mentioned throughout this guide, this might have been true in the past but today, with the likes of Wanli, Fortuna and a whole host of others coming in to the market, there are now affordable alternatives and big name brands are becoming more competitive.
  • Nobody uses them - This is definitely not true, with the likes of BMW heavily endorsing run flat tyres, a whole bunch of vehicle manufacturers have begun to start using run flat tyres as original equipment and with the number of manufacturers producing run flat tyres rapidly increasing.

What are my run flat tyre options?

Most of the major manufacturers have developed their own take on the original run flat design and now have patented techniques that ensure you'll keep going even after a puncture or damage to the tyre.

Recently a number of budget and mid-range manufacturers have also come in to the market, aiming to fill the gap that previously was of affordable budget tyres. These often use a slightly different approach, more subtle in its differences from those of the premium brand manufacturers.

One thing is for sure though ? at Easywheels.co.uk we stock a huge range of run flat tyres from all the major brands including the likes of Pirelli, Michelin, Bridgestone and many more. We also hold a wide range of more affordable run flat tyres that won't break the bank and will keep you on the move.

Below we've listed some of the major manufacturers and how their patented Run Flat tyre systems work to keep you going. If you're looking to find how run flats work in general then you can skip ahead to the How It works section of our Run Flat tyre guide.


Bridgestone's run flat offering utilises some of the latest technology and is designed to ensure performance is in no way compromised against a conventional tyre. As the largest tyre manufacturer in the world, Bridgestone have decades of experience in producing run flat tyres, having been manufacturing them since the 1980's. They are now widely used on BMW models as original equipment run flat options.

The third generation of their run flat tyre range utilises stiffer sidewalls with NanoPro-Tech technology that reduces friction and heat in the event of a puncture. With wider beads and better bead fillers to support this, you can be absolutely sure that these options will work as expected and are provide a much better comfort level than previous generations. Cooling fins and a new ply help to reduce heat in the event of a puncture, allowing the run flat tyre to perform better until you are able to replace it.

buy Bridgestone tyres


After decades of using the more conventional run flat option, Continental have recently patented and released their take on the run flat tyre, aptly named ContiSeal. Like many of the competitors? offerings, the fundamental goal is the same; to keep you going even after a puncture. The ContiSeal still utilises the stiffer sidewalls but relies more on ensuring that air pressure isn't lost than other options. ContiSeal tyres are coated on the inside with a sticky viscous layer that forms around objects and or holes in the tyre to ensure pressure isn't lost. Working in combination with the stiff sidewall structure the ContiSeal keeps you going safely long after a puncture or damage to the tyre.

buy Continental tyres


As one of the most well-known tyre manufacturers in the world, Dunlop's RunOnFlat technology aims to produce run flat tyres that won't compromise performance or handling and remain competitive in all areas when up against a conventional tyre. A patented reinforced sidewall and a large road surface contact area ensure you will always make it home or to the garage without further issues after suffering a puncture or damage to your tyre

buy Dunlop tyres


Making use of Pirelli's patented rubber compounds and more solid sidewall construction, Pirelli's run flat tyres are designed to ensure you're never left stranded and with minimal effect on the performance of the tyre. Allowing you to drive safely on them for up to 50mph, you'll be able to get home safely or make it to a garage in plenty of time. As the official tyre supplier of Formula 1, Pirelli are steeped with experience and known globally for the quality of their tyres. Like their conventional and formula 1 tyre options, Pirelli run flat tyres are designed to not let you down.

Pirelli run flat tyres use their own rubber compounds to deliver stable driving conditions in the event of a puncture and their reliability is second to none. The stiffer sidewalls ensure the tyre can keep its shape well at all times and there is consistent amount of contact area between the road and tyre at all times. The new Seal Inside technology also provides an internal layer beneath the rubber that will stick to anything that pierces the rubber and fill any hole that is left behind once the object is removed. This helps keep the tyre pressure at an acceptable level for a period of time.

buy Pirelli tyres

The Costs

For many people, buying tyres is a bit of an unwanted cost so here at Easywheels.co.uk we find we're often asked what the cheapest of something is or what the best value is. We're going to look here at a bit about the costs of run flat tyres and whether they really are as expensive as rumour would have you believe.

Generally speaking it's fair to say that run flats are more expensive than their conventional or non-run flat counterparts. This is largely down to the way in which they're made, the extra materials and production costs along with a legacy of only premium manufacturers producing them. However, you don't have to carry a spare which is always nice and saves you money upfront on the extra tyre and on fuel over the long run as you're carrying less weight.

But, they're harder to repair and it's less likely you'll be able to repair your run flat tyre for the reasons we've mentioned throughout this guide.

So, understanding the costs associated with run flat tyres and the way they're likely to impact your bank is going to be high priority for most of us and will likely help you to decide whether ultimately they're for you or not.

  • Generally more expensive - Well, this is still true today although the disparity between them has narrowed considerably, you will stay pay a premium for a run flat edition of a tyre against the conventional option even when looking at cheaper or budget run flats. However, with prices falling all the time in the run flat tyre market and a huge range of affordable run flat tyres available for fitting nationwide at Easywheels.co.uk, they might well be within your price range. The likes of Wanli, Fortuna, Fulda, Nexen and more are all beginning to produce a wide selection of run flat options, not just offering a more affordable alternative but forcing premium manufacturers such as Bridgestone and Pirelli to become more competitive with their pricing on run flat options.
  • Fuel Costs - Many critics of run flat tyres, and even some supporters, have noted the slightly increased fuel consumption compared with a conventional alternative. However, with the extra weight saved from having no spare tyre most of us should find the difference negligible if any. However, with the introduction of the EU tyre labelling information 18 months ago, it's now easier than ever to compare tyres on their fuel efficiency across the Easywheels.co.uk site. Simply compare the fuel efficiency rating on the tyre results or search results page to choose the most fuel-efficient tyre for your vehicle.

How it works

Run flat tyres offer greater safety compared to conventional options in the event of a puncture by allowing you to continue driving safely until you can get home or to a garage to replace it. This means you are less likely to lose control after a puncture, nor do you have to try to fit the spare tyre by the side of the road ? you don't need a spare tyre at all with run flat options.

Run flat options have been criticised for having a much firmer ride than conventional tyres due to the need to be reinforced for when a puncture occurs but they have been around for a number of decades, proving to be durable options for any vehicle. Originally developed in motorsports, the technology was brought to road cars for the obvious safety benefits and has gone from strength to strength since.

There are three main types of run flat tyres that you can find, all with their own benefits and disadvantages. Which one you choose may depending on the car you drive, the conditions you commonly face and your driving style. These are:

  • Self-supporting - This version of run flat tyres utilises a much stiffer sidewall and rubber compound then conventional tyres. When air pressure is lost, the sidewall can support the weight of the vehicle for a set amount of miles at a set speed safely without fear of losing control of the vehicle.
  • Self-sealing - The self-sealing run flat tyre has a sticky layer that traps objects penetrating the rubber. If this object comes free then the sticky layer will plug the hole left, at least temporarily, and allow you to keep driving safely until you can replace the tyre.
  • Inner ring - The inner ring run flat tyre is the least common of the three variants and contains an additional support ring attached to the wheel should the tyre suffer a puncture or blowout. You will enjoy a more comfortable ride but the cost of these tyres is usually much greater due to the complexity of the design and parts.

Why choose Easywheels.co.uk for run flat tyres?

  • Service - Quite simply, we can't afford not to be the best. With the number of competitors in the tyre industry, we have to offer first class service each and every time and as a relatively young player in the market (compared against the likes of Kwikfit), we're counting on you telling family and friends about your experience. You'll never feel like you got your tyres at rock-bottom prices, we'll make sure you're looked after like a true VIP from start to finish. And because we know how annoying it is being passed around the houses you'll even have your own dedicated contact at Easywheels.co.uk who knows everything about your order and is always ready to help.
  • Price - We don't offer any bogus price matching or price guarantees with forms to fill out. Even though our tyres are already available at incredibly low prices, we'll always aim to beat any other quote on the same tyre where we can, just pick up the phone and give us a call, and it really is as simple as that.
  • Convenience - With just over 2,000 Easywheels.co.uk fitting stations across the UK and a huge number of mobile fitters across the country growing daily, you'll never have to travel again to get your new tyres for less. We're also proud to be the only online tyre retailer to offer truly next day fitting at over 90% of our fitting stations across the UK, with a huge amount also able to offer same day fitting when ordered by 11am ? just give us a call to arrange same day fitting.

If you want even more information on run flat tyres, or want to find out more about the options we have available, speak to one the Easywheels.co.uk team on 0333 9000 201 today or browse our fantastic selection of tyres right here online.

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