It has emerged that nine out of ten new vehicles are now sold without a full-size spare wheel. Less than half of cars (46%) only come with a repair kit which usually comprises of an air-pump and a self-sealent whilst 27% are fitted with a ‘space-saver’ tyre which cannot be used for long distances. Other alternatives include cars fitted with ‘run-flats’, tyres that are reinforced to allow the motorist to continue driving on a puncture for a limited time.
This has resulted in a significant rise in the number of wheel-related call-outs to breakdown organisations. To help solve the problem, the RAC has developed its own ‘universal spare wheel’ which fits eight out of ten cars and has been used more than 30,000 times since its launch in January.
According to the report, the worst manufacturers who don’t provide a spare tyre or a ‘space-saver’ are Volvo, Vauxhall, Porshe, Mini, Mazda, Dacia and BMW. On the other end of the scale, the best are the Alfa Romeo, SsangYong and Suzuki.
With puncture and other tyre-related breakdowns on the rise, in part due to poor road conditions, these cutbacks come at a huge cost to the consumer with some having to fork out more than £600 for a full-size spare.