Replacing 1 car tyre is possible. It is an uncommon request unless you are replacing a single tyre that cannot be repaired due to a puncture. However, there are reasons to avoid only replacing a single tyre. There are a limited set of circumstances that your tyre fitter or mechanic will be comfortable replacing just one tyre. When replacing tyres, generally all 4 should be done at the same time. Often the only alternative available to you will be to replace a minimum of 2 tyres unless your vehicle is a four-wheel drive.

What do I do if my tyre is irreparable?

If your tyre is irreparable due to a puncture or similar, you will need a replacement. Unfortunately you will most likely need at least 2 tyres replaced. If all 4 tyres are at the end of their life and showing signs of wear we would recommend replacing all 4 at once. If your other 3 tyres are near new and we can find a match we can replace the damaged tyre.

When can I get away with replacing a single tyre?

Your tyre specialist can evaluate your tyres for signs of tread wear and attempt to locate a match. Although they will never recommend just replacing one tyre, your tyre fitter may feel comfortable to do so if they can find a perfect match considering all other tyres on your vehicle.

Generally you should never mix tread patters across the same axle. Despite locating a perfect match consisting of same type, same size and same model a similar degree of wear may still not be suitable. Tread wear imbalance will negatively impact grip, particularly when braking and cornering, on road surfaces leading to a loss of control. Varying tread depth will impact overall vehicle performance and stability. In some vehicles, electronic systems such as anti-lock brakes, will be confused by the inconsistent tread. This can potentially lead to malfunction. You should always refer to your owners manual to identify the minimum of tyres that can be replaced at any one time. Some manufactures will restrict any less than 4 tyres be replaced.

With the out of pocket expense, sometimes you may only be able to replace one tyre. This is feasible if your tyre specialist has evaluated tread depth and referenced your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Front-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive cars require the one replacement tyre to be paired with the tyre on your vehicle that has the most tread depth. Both must be mounted on the rear axel.


Ultimately, if your other 3 tyres have only lost a trivial amount tread and your tyre technician has checked up on all the other requirements, you can replace 1 car tyre. We always recommend replacing 2 despite this. However, in most circumstances replacing 1 car tyre can become a safety risk. It can negatively impact overall vehicle performance and stability.

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