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Toyota Rav4 Spare Tire: Does It Have One?

The Toyota Rav4 is one of the best-selling SUVs on American roads today and has been for years. This favorite SUV is reliable, dependable, compact, can handle some slippery roads, and can take on some miles that other vehicles can’t.

But as a compact vehicle, can the Rav4 carry a spare tire?

The Toyota Rav4 does have a spare tire, though it is not a full-size spare tire. Spare tires have been included in the Rav4 since its release to the car market in 1996 and have since changed their location of where you can now find the slightly smaller but full-diameter spare tire.

Many compact vehicles on today’s market cannot carry a spare tire because they’re just that. Compact. Getting a flat tire is a hassle and isn’t something we usually have the time or energy for but having a spare ready to go can make the world of difference.

So, the Toyota Rav4 is a compact vehicle too, let’s find out more about the Toyota Rav4 and which models have a spare tire.

Does the Toyota Rav4 Have a Spare Tire?

Some, but not all, Toyota Rav4 vehicles come with a spare tire.

Because the Rav4 is a compact vehicle, the weight of a full-size, or any size spare tire, will affect the fuel efficiency as well as the luggage space of the car.

According to nearly 35% of vehicles sold today do not come from the factory with a spare tire. Many companies have started adding the spare tire as an optional package for an additional price.

One of the main reasons for vehicles not coming from the factory with spare tires is to enhance fuel efficiency and increase your miles per gallon. Instead of supplying a spare tire, some manufacturers are opting for a puncture kit instead.

It is not illegal to sell a vehicle, new or used, without a spare tire and it is not a requirement by law to always carry a spare tire, if at all. Apparently, in some countries it is law, but this is not the case in the US.

Is the Rav4 Spare Tire a Full-Size Tire?

The Rav4, although compact, can carry a spare tire yet not all of them come from the factory with a spare and some of the ones that do might only come with a smaller, “run-flat” type of tire.

The Rav4 is a “lighter duty” Toyota vehicle and as such, the spare tire is not a full-sized pare tire but is rather a full-diameter tire. Yes, there is more than one type of spare tire but don’t worry, we’ll go through it now!

  • Spare tires are often run-flat tires in smaller and compact vehicles
  • Some spares may be the same full-dimeter size tire, but they are still smaller in height or width to fit in the spare tire location conveniently
  • The material is lightweight and not designed for long distances
  • The tread depth is shallower, again they are not designed for traveling more than 50 miles if you can help it
  • When driving on a spare tire you should not drive faster than 50mph
  • Spare tires have an earlier expiration date than full-size tires

A full-size tire would be better suited to drivers who like to go off-roading more often, so, luckily, that a full-size spare tire can fit in the spare tire cargo space!

The full-size spare doesn’t come equipped with the Rav4 so you may experience some alterations to the handling of the vehicle such as:

  • Fewer gallons per mile
  • Heavier payload
  • Slightly less space in the cargo area
  • Can decrease the performance of the car, including the ground clearance and traction

Which Rav4 Comes with a Spare Tire?

All Toyota Rav4 vehicles come with a spare tire. It may not be a full-size spare in all Rav4 trims and models but every year of the Rav4 can carry a spare tire.

From its popular release in 1996, the original place for the spare tire was easily located on the back of the cargo door. Drivers could choose to purchase a cover for their spare tire, and some dealerships would offer this as an incentive when purchasing the Rav4.

The spare tire does not come as a standard feature or option in all of the trim levels and each dealership is different in how they offer the spare tire. If you’re wanting a spare tire for your used Toyota Rav4, you can purchase them from any tire store with the right details and if you’re in the market for a new Toyota Rav4, you should seek a dealership that provides you with a spare tire in the deal.

2018 – 2021 Toyota Rav4

A spare tire comes equipped in these Rav4 year models as standard equipment from the manufacturer’s factory.

Though this space is not designed for a full-size spare tire, the 2018 – 2021 Toyota Rav4 can fit a full-size spare tire in the spare tire compartment with just a minimal impact to the floor cover of the cargo/boot space.

Morozov Automotive shows us in this YouTube video how the full-size spare can fit in the cargo space of the Rav4.

Where Can You Find the Spare Tire on a Rav4?

The 1996 release of the Toyota Rav4 had its spare tire attached to the back of the vehicle on its cargo door. Personalized and standard tire covers could be purchased from Toyota or third-party stores for an additional price.

  • From 1996 – 2012 the spare tire that comes with the Rav4 can be found on the back of the cargo door
  • From 2013 onwards the spare tire is found under the cargo boot space floor

The 2013 – 2021 Toyota Rav4 spare tire can be found under the floorboard of the boot/cargo space. Lift the carpeted floor by raising the small handle of the floor panel and you’ll find the spare placed underneath in its own wheel indent.

The tools, including the tire jack, you need to fit the spare tire are conveniently stored in the center of the wheel. Your vehicle manual will have a descriptive image of the best jack points for each tire.

If your vehicle no longer has its manual, you can check out this website for the required information on where to find your Rav4 spare tire, where to find the desired equipment and tools, how to release the tire, and how to change it. Keep in mind that not all Rav4 models carry their spare tire in the same place, and some do not come equipped with a spare at all.

Here is a detailed demonstration by Lake Charles Toyota of how to find your spare Rav4 tire and tools.

Never changed a flat tire? If you’ve never changed a tire before and would prefer to wait for your roadside assistance for hours, then maybe you won’t be as affected by not having a spare tire as others.

If you’d like to change it yourself and get your vehicle back on the road asap so you don’t miss that important meeting or birthday party, watch this tutorial by Morozov Automotive to change your tire in no time.


Although compact, the Toyota Rav4 strikes again with its included spare tire.

Not all dealerships offer the Rav4 with a spare tire, but the Rav4 does have the space for it either located on the outside cargo door at the rear of the vehicle or under the carpeted cargo floor nicely fitted into a tire compartment along with the necessary tools to replace a flat tire.

The Toyota Rav4 never lets us down and although numerous manufacturers are choosing puncture and tire inflation kits over spare tires, the FWD and AWD compact Toyota Rav4 SUV has always had and continues to have the capability of storing a spare tire.