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Run Flat Tyres

We're the largest fast-fit tyre specialist in the UK and have the biggest range of car tyres available to buy. You'll find an extensive selection of run flat tyres from some of the industry's top brands, including big names like Michelin, Pirelli and Continental. There are also exclusive mid-range and budget run flat tyres from the likes of Yokohama and Autogreen, all ready to fit while you wait.

To buy tyres online, use our search tool above. It is pre-filtered for run flat tyres so all you need to do is provide your registration and postcode. You can visit us at one of the 200+ National branches across the UK or get in touch with our friendly technicians to ask your tyre-related questions.

What are run flat tyres?

Run flat tyres are also known as self-supporting tyres and are specially designed to keep working for a short time even after they suffer a puncture.

So, if you get a puncture on a cold, dark night, there's no need for an uncomfortable roadside tyre change. Your run flat tyres are required to work with a tyre pressure monitoring system (TPMS) that alerts you when there is a change in tyre pressure. You should be able to safely drive home or to your nearest garage to get your tyre changed.

Run flat tyres also reduce the dangers of a potentially dangerous tyre blowout due to their unique construction.

How do run flat tyres work?

A run flat tyre is made with reinforced sidewalls. The tough rubber inserts allow the tyre to temporarily hold up the weight of a vehicle after a puncture. A standard tyre would collapse in the event of a puncture, due to its sidewalls simply being kept up by air.

How do run flat tyres work
Credit: Pirelli



Vehicles fitted with Run Flat as 'Original Equipment (OE)

An increasing number of vehicle manufacturers are opting to fit new cars with run flat tyres. As a result, they do not have a spare tyre or tyre-changing equipment included as standard. Run flat tyres can be fitted on cars, vans and 4x4s.

Fitting 'Conventional' Tyres to a Run Flat Equipped Vehicle

If your car was originally supplied with run flat tyres, then it is possible to change to 'conventional' tyres. However, if the vehicle was designed with run flat tyres in mind, bear in mind you could be left stranded without a spare! Make sure you also buy a new spare tyre and tyre-changing equipment.

Run Flat Fitting

Do I need run flat tyres or conventional tyres?

We are not recommending that you change the type of tyre your vehicle was originally supplied with. Changing to regular tyres could affect the handling of your car, so you must always consult the manufacturer before making this type of change.

However, some people choose to do this because conventional tyres are generally cheaper and offer a smoother ride. Take a look at our guidance on conventional and run flat tyres to see what the best choice for your vehicle would be.

How to identify run flat tyres?

Run flat tyres aren't appropriate for every vehicle so it's recommended that you check the manufacturer information provided to see if your car is a match.

You can identify whether your tyres are run flat by inspecting the tyre sidewall. Unfortunately, there is no standard symbol used for run flat tyres and different tyre manufacturers use different markings.

Please see the table below for the run flat codes for specific tyre manufacturers. If you are looking at run flat tyres on the National Tyres website, any tyre marked with the tyre symbol 'RF' is a run flat tyre.

Brand Run Flat Tyre Descriptions Technical Enquiry No
Bridgestone RFT (Run flat Tyre) 01926 488 595
Continental SSR (Self Supporting Run Flat 01788 552 937
Dunlop DSST (Dunlop Self Supporting Tyre) 01902 327 070
Goodyear EMT (ExtendedMobility Tyre) 01902 327 070
Michelin ZP (Zero Pressure) 0845 366 1535
Pirelli Tyre identified as a "Run Flat" tyre 0870 240 9996


Fitting Run Flat to an older vehicle ('retro fitting')

If you are considering changing to run flat tyres on a vehicle that was previously fitted with conventional tyres, then there are several points to consider:

  1. Tyre Pressure Monitoring System
    Run flats must only be installed on a car which has a tyre pressure monitoring system. TPMS alerts the driver to a puncture, so they are aware that they have a limited time to replace their tyre, and so they drive within the limits of their deflated tyre (see our section on tyre pressure for more detail)
  2. Vehicle Suspension
    You should also note that you may need some changes made to your vehicle's suspension. Because of their stiffer construction, run flat tyres contribute to a vehicle's suspension when fitted as original equipment.

Run Flat TPMS

Industry Views on Replacing Run Flat Tyres with Conventional Tyres


The BTMA (2005) stated that retro-fitting conventional tyres in place of run flat tyres would:

'remove the run-flat capability, potentially leaving the driver immobile in a case of deflation and could compromise vehicle handling. It is therefore recommended to consult with the vehicle manufacturer before replacing SSTs with conventional tyres'.


BMW promote run flat technology because of its advantages for driver comfort and safety. They point out that when run flat tyres are fitted as original equipment, the vehicles' braking, and suspension are set up accordingly. Changing to conventional tyres could then affect the handling characteristics of your car. However, they do say it is possible to fit conventional tyres.


Tyresafe recommends that drivers do not change their vehicle setup from run flat tyres to conventional, because of the adverse effects this could have on vehicle handling due to the vehicle set up.

Run Flats on Vehicles Towing Caravans/Trailers

If your car is fitted with run flats and you are using it to tow another vehicle, then extra care must be taken. The extra weight of a towed vehicle puts any run flat tyre under additional stress. Even if you observe the speed limit set by your run flat tyre manufacturer, there could still be problems with the stability of your car and towed vehicle.

To keep safe, it is recommended that you reduce the overall speed and distance travelled on a punctured run flat. Check with your vehicle manufacturer.

Winter run flat tyres

We stock a wide range of winter tyres that use run flat designs. Winter tyres help provide extra grip and performance in temperatures below 7 degrees Celsius. A wide-groove pattern prevents any snow or ice from clogging the tyre tread, allowing for higher levels of traction and improved safety in difficult conditions.

4x4 run flat tyres

4x4 tyres provide excellent traction across many difficult terrains. The run flat design provides extra safety when using 4x4 tyres, as if the tyre were to puncture, you’d be able to drive a short distance to get home or to a garage for repair.

Why buy run flat tyres from National?

  • Best choice: You can enjoy the best choice of run flat tyres and prices online because we're the largest fast-fit tyre specialists in the UK. You'll find budget and premium tyres from big-name brands.
  • Over 50 years of experience: We've been tyre experts for over half a century so our technicians know what they're talking about when it comes to run flat tyres.
  • Highly rated: Exceptional customer service is at our core, but you don't need to just take our word for it.
  • 24/7 call centre and live chat: We're always on hand to help if you have a question so don't hesitate to give us a call or use our live chat. You can also check our FAQs or fill out our contact form.
  • Mobile fitting: If you can't visit your local branch, take advantage of our flexible mobile tyre-fitting service. It's available all year round and our technicians will come to your home at a time that suits you!
  • Fast-fitting nationwide service: Visit us at one of our 200-plus branches located throughout the UK to see our fast-fitting service in person.
  • Price promise: We're determined to never be beaten on cost, so we check our competitors' prices daily. You can also use our Payment Assist scheme to spread the price of your run flat tyres. 

Top FAQs About Run Flat Tyres

There is plenty to consider when it comes to picking the best run flat tyres for your vehicle. We've put all the need-know information together in our FAQs section below, but if you don't see your question below, get in touch with our experts.

Run flat tyres come with reinforced sidewalls which allow the tyre to temporarily hold up the weight of the vehicle after a puncture. This reduces the risk of being stranded by the roadside with a flat tyre.

They also eliminate the need to carry a spare tyre which in turn frees up boot space and reduces your vehicle weight.

Run flat tyres are popular with car enthusiasts as they provide improved handling and stability in emergencies.

While there are many benefits to run flat tyres, there are also a few downsides to consider. Run flat tyres are typically more expensive than conventional tyres and the tough rubber insert that reinforces them means they may wear out more quickly. The stiffer sidewalls can also offer a harsher ride quality than standard tyres.

The amount you use your run flat tyres will determine how long they will last and there are many factors that affect how quickly they wear out. These include road terrain, air pressure maintenance and the model and materials of your run flat tyres.

Despite being able to stay in control of the vehicle after a puncture, it's advised that you travel no more than 50 miles on your run flat tyres and maintain a speed of around 30mph. This gives you plenty of time to get to your nearest garage to have new tyres fitted. The exact range depends on variables like your driving speed, the load of your vehicle and driving conditions.

This may vary depending on the manufacturer of your tyres so in the unfortunate event of a puncture, seek help as soon as possible and check the information given about your run flat tyres.

It can be difficult to know when your run flat tyre has been punctured due to the reinforced sidewalls. As a result, run flat tyres are required to communicate with a tyre pressure monitoring system which will alert the driver in the event of sudden loss or increase in air pressure.

If you're driving and this system comes on, it's important to have your run flat tyres checked by a technician as soon as possible.

Finding the best run flat tyres for your car will depend on several factors, including budget, tyre patterns and vehicle model and condition. We stock run flat tyres in value, mid-range and premium collections that offer excellent performance and different levels of run flat technology.

Take a look at our run flat tyre guidance for more information on the best set for you.

If you have discovered a puncture in your run flat tyre, you may be thinking about having it repaired. In line with most leading tyre retailers, National Tyres will not repair a run flat tyre following a puncture. Most manufacturers advise against repairing run flat tyres.

If the deflated tyre has been driven on, its strength may be compromised. It is impossible for a fitter to know if the tyre was driven on for longer/faster than recommended after a puncture. For a brand-specific answer, you can contact the manufacturers below, but generally, it will be hard to find a retailer who will be willing to repair a run flat tyre.

Different brand tyres can have different handling characteristics, so you should follow the advice of the tyre manufacturer if you plan to mix different brands of run flat tyres. We would always recommend fitting the same brand and type of tyre across the axles of the vehicle.

As a rule of thumb, you should avoid mixing different tyre types on a vehicle. This is also true of combining conventional and run flat tyres on a car – as their handling characteristics may differ, they should not be mixed on a vehicle.

If you're looking for a wide range of tyres, use the search tool at the top of this page to see all our in-stock options.

Run flat tyres can only be used on vehicles fitted with TPMS. As caravans and trailers are not currently fitted with TPMS, they should not be equipped with run flat tyres.

Run flat tyres aren't appropriate for every vehicle so it's recommended that you check the manufacturer information provided to see if your car is a match.

You can identify whether your tyres are run flat by inspecting the tyre sidewall. Unfortunately, there is no standard symbol used for run flat tyres and different tyre manufacturers use different markings. Please see the table above for the run flat codes for specific tyre manufacturers.

If you are looking at run flat tyres on the National Tyres website, any tyre marked with the tyre symbol 'RF' is a run flat tyre.

Buy run flat tyres from the UK's largest fast-fit tyre service

If you've found the right run flat tyres for your vehicle, use our registration tool at the top of the page to get started. Don't forget that you can also visit us at your local National branch or get in touch using our online contact form.

Autogreen tyres
Avon tyres
Bridgestone tyres
Churchill tyres
Continental tyres
Dunlop tyres
Dynamo tyres
Firestone tyres
Goodyear tyres
Michelin tyres
Pirelli tyres
Sailun tyres