The best tyre pumps to stop a flat ruining your day

Avoid the misery (and cost) of avoidable roadside assistance with CAR's guide to tyre pumps

A very flat tyre

by Ryan Gilmore |

A flat tyre is one of those really annoying occurrences that is guaranteed to spoil your day. You're immobile at the side of the road and therefore, thoroughly annoyed. With manufacturers more and more reluctant to offer full spare tyres it often means an awkward phone call to a roadside assistant who will breathe (almost literally) new life into your tyre.

It makes sense then, to invest in a tyre inflator to carry around in your car at all times to prevent the above scenario. Properly inflated tyres save you money as tyres last longer and make your car more fuel-efficient, so it's worth using a pump to check your tyres regularly. With this in mind, take a look at our favourite tyre pumps on sale now.

How to inflate a tyre

The first thing you need to know before filling your tyre with air is what its ideal pressure is, you'll find this in your car's handbook. Remember, however, that there will be two figures listed, one for normal driving and another for if you're carrying heavy loads. Once you've got the correct figure you're ready to start pumping (especially if you have a foot-operated pump).

Remove the screw cap (and any flashy dust caps) from the tyre valve and place your tyre pump's connector over the exposed valve. All our top picks have in-built pressure displays which will help you gauge how much air you need to add.

Simply turn on the digital tyre pumps or start pumping the manual one to begin to increase the tyres pressure. If you accidentally add too much air then it's simply a case of pressing the pin on the tyre valve to release some air. Although, some of these pumps have programmable shut-offs to prevent this from occurring. Re-attach your valve cap and you're ready to continue your journey.

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