What to do if you get a puncture

Published on 1 January 2014

Getting a puncture while driving can be highly annoying for drivers, but it can also be dangerous.

Flat tyres or slow punctures can go unnoticed for some time, but they should be fixed as soon as they are spotted. Symptoms of a slow puncture can include a flapping noise or your car pulling to the right or left.

On the other hand, a puncture that happens suddenly can be frightening, particularly if you are driving at fast speeds or on the motorway.

If you get a puncture while driving on a local road put on your indicator and pull over when it is safe to do so. While it may be tempting to drive until you get to your destination, continuing to drive on a puncture can damage your wheel which will not be covered in your car insurance policy. Some punctures can even be repairable, so you can save yourself some money by changing the tyre immediately.

Driving at speed when you get a puncture can lead you to lose control of the car. If you are on the motorway when a puncture occurs, you may feel the steering wheel pull away from you. Do not put your foot on the break. Instead, put your hazard warning lights on to warn other drivers. Hold on to the steering wheel as tightly as you can. Avoid putting your foot on the break as your car could go into a spin. Put your foot on the clutch and reduce speed slowly, going down the gears until you come to a stop on the hard shoulder.

Once you pull over on a local road, make sure it is in a safe location to change a tyre. If you are exposed to traffic, put up your reflective triangle to warn other motorists before you get to work. Remember; never change your tyre on the hard shoulder of a motorway.