Each car manufacturer has its own recommendations for the allowable driving distance for a spare donut tire, but the range is generally between 50 and 70 miles, according to AutoGuide.com. The short driving range is a result of the thinner sidewall and steel layers compared to a regular tire.
Driving with a donut tire for longer than the manufacturer's recommendation also negatively affects the differential, making the car difficult to handle, asserts Popular Mechanics. Drive donut tires at speeds of no more than 50 miles per hour. Donut tires provide very little traction, have thinner treads and are smaller than the other regular tires, affecting the performance of the vehicle.