What is the law regarding non-standard spare wheels?

Two years ago when I bought my car from a reputable garage I pointed out that there was no spare. The garage provided me with a steel wheel and a brand new tyre. Recently when replacing two tyres I found that the wheels on the car are 15 inch and the spare is 16 inch. Can you confirm that it is illegal to drive with different sized wheels on the same axle.

Asked by J Harley

You must always make sure that tyres on the same axle are of the same size and aspect ratio – your car will fail the MOT test if they’re not – but the law makes an exception for temporary use spare wheels fitted in an emergency.

If your car is provided with a temporary use spare wheel you must check the handbook for advice before fitting the spare in place of a road-wheel.


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