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Where’s my spare wheel?

The traditional full-size spare tyre / spare wheel has almost disappeared, and today's replacements are enough to drive you spare

Where has the good old-fashioned spare wheel gone? That’s the lament of many a motorist. One of the least-popular trends in modern car design is the almost total disappearance of the traditional full-size spare tyre and spare wheel.

Many drivers, even of today’s modern cars, take one look under the boot carpet of their new vehicle and sigh with disappointment at the sight of a compact space-saver, a canister of green sealant and a compressor to re-inflate a punctured tyre or – on some cars such as BMW or Mini, a run-flat tyre, which is designed to be able to be driven with no air pressure for a short while.

Why have spare tyres / spare wheels disappeared?

There are several reasons why modern cars no longer come with a full-size spare wheel. The main one is fairly simple: they are rarely used. Most spares spend their entire life hidden in the boot, so there are considerable savings to be made by not fitting them.

The main three savings are cost, space and weight. A typical 17″ alloy wheel and tyre would cost the manufacturer about £100 and weigh about 20kg. A full-size wheel is also bulky, so designers have to factor in enough space for the wheel to fit in or under the boot – and that adds more bulk and weight to the vehicle.

By replacing the full-size wheel with a space-saver spare wheel, costs go down and weight is saved. If you have a ‘breakdown kit’ of goo and compressor, the weight, space and cost savings are even greater.

The saved weight makes a small difference to fuel economy and emissions, which can help lower a car’s CO2 rating (and potentially reduce road tax). Smaller cars like hatchbacks and sports cars gain the most from the saved space, but the cost savings are universal.

So what are the pros and cons of each tyre emergency alternative?

Full-size spare wheel

Full-size spare wheel, spare tyre

The default spare wheel offering until the 1990s and now virtually non-existent. Until recent years, it was considered standard practice for all cars to come with five identical wheels and tyres – four on the road and one in the boot.

This option means that any tyre can be immediately replaced with the spare on the spot, and there are no limitations to speed and distance when the spare wheel is in place.

These factors are still crucial in more remote parts of the world, where it’s easy to be a long way from your local tyre shop. There is also the caveat that the spare is only useful if it is in good working order and not flat! This sounds obvious, but the number of people who never check their spare tyre – or who use it to replace a flat tyre and never get the damaged one fixed – is staggering. So it’s useless when you actually need it.

Also, most drivers don’t bother replacigg the spare tyre when replacing the other four tyres, so it is often a different tyre to the other four anyway, which is not ideal from a safety perspective.

Pros: convenient, as long as all four wheels are the same size; no speed or distance limitations when running spare wheel
Cons: expensive, heavy and bulky for something which is rarely used; few people ever check the tyre pressure on the spare, so it could be be flat when you actually need it.

Space-saver spare wheel

Space-saver spare wheel, spare tyre

Compact space-saver spare wheels emerged in the 1980s as manufacturers looked to start saving money and weight in their cars.

It was also becoming more common for cars to come with different-sized front and rear tyres and/or directional tyres, meaning that it was possible that a car could have four different tyres on four wheels! This meant that one full-size spare wheel had a 75% chance of being the wrong wheel for the job.

One common problem with a space-saver spare wheel is that if you ever need to use it, the original full-size wheel and flat tyre won’t fit in the spare wheel well, so you have to carry it in the boot – which, of course, is no good if you already have a bootful of luggage or a very small boot.

Space-saver spare tyres are also usually limited to a maximum speed of 50mph (80 km/h) and a maximum distance of about 50 miles, so it limits your options for getting to a suitable tyre shop. Your steering and braking performance will also be affected, so it’s very much a temporary solution.

Pros: cheaper, lighter and smaller than a full-size spare tyre; can be used for almost any tyre problem
Cons: your damaged full-size tyre won’t fit in the space-saver wheel well; limited speed and distance; vehicle handling and safety impaired

Breakdown kits

Breakdown kits, also known as tyre inflation kits, consist of a bottle of sealant liquid and an air compressor. They’ve become a lot more popular in recent years, and are now becoming the default solution for most new cars. However, they are far from perfect. The theory is that you squirt the green goo into the tyre valve and then use the compressor to reinflate the flat tyre.

Again, this is a temporary fix and usually limited to about 50 miles at no more than 50mph. Whilst it does mean that you don’t have to worry about changing the tyre and emptying your boot, it is only really useful for relatively minor punctures and no good whatsoever if the tyre has suffered significant damage.

Pros: re-inflating tyre means no need to change a wheel on the roadside; maximum cost/space/weight savings (no spare wheel, wheel well, jack, tyre lever, etc.)
Cons: only suitable for minor tyre damage; limited speed and distance; using sealant usually makes tyre irreparable

Run-flat tyres

Run-flat tyre

Run-flat tyres have long been championed by BMW, and are slowly being adopted by some other brands as they improve in terms of cost and ride comfort.

These tyres feature a reinforced sidewall that allows you to continue driving on a punctured tyre even if it has lost all of its air (again, you’re limited in speed and distance).

The downsides to run-flat tyres are that they are again limited to minor punctures rather than serious cuts, and the reinforced sidewalls are much more rigid than those of a normal tyre, which usually makes your ride a lot bumpier than on a regular tyre.

Pros: maximum convenience, with no need to stop to change or repair the tyre; maximum cost/space/weight savings
Cons: only suitable for minor tyre damage; limited speed and damage; tyres are expensive; significantly reduced ride comfort.

So has the full-size spare wheel been replaced forever?

Many people still bemoan the removal of full-size spare wheels from new cars, but the simple reality is that for the vast majority of people, it’s not a big deal. In fact, many people with go their whole driving lives without ever having a flat tyre or blowout.

Certainly within Britain and most of Europe, breakdown assistance services are able to attend to your tyre emergency promptly, so your likelihood of being severely inconvenienced is slim. And a flat tyre is certainly not the most common reason drivers call for breakdown assistance – that’s a flat battery, and no-one carries a spare one of those in their car.

Most new cars now come with breakdown kits instead of a full-size or space-saver spare wheel. It may not be a perfect solution for every situation, but covers most people’s needs most of the time.

Additional reporting by Tom Johnston. This article was originally published in April 2014, and was most recently updated in February 2021.

Stuart Massonhttps://www.thecarexpert.co.uk/
Stuart is the Editorial Director of our suite of sites: The Car Expert, The Van Expert and The Truck Expert. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for cars and the automotive industry for over thirty years. He spent a decade in automotive retail, and now works tirelessly to help car buyers by providing independent and impartial advice.


  1. I recently bought a ’67 Octavia- no spare just a silly kit. Found a firm in Manchester who sold me a full size spare wheel with brand new tyre plus jack. For me its peace of mind. Thankyou Wheelbase. No connection but praise for good service.
    Mike Keayes.

  2. The article states that a full sized spare wheel was left unused in the boot, but in vehicle handbooks and service schedules of old the spare was rotated with the other roadwheels to even the wear on all tyres

    • Hi David. Yes, almost all handbooks will have information about rotating wheels. However, it very often doesn’t happen – or the spare is called upon in the event of a puncture, and the punctured tyre gets slung in the boot and forgotten.
      Also, even with full-size spares, some manufacturers give you a cheap steel spare wheel instead of nice shiny alloy like the other four wheels, so it’s never going to stay on the car for longer than needed.

  3. Just got rid of my Mondeo with the spacesaver wheel. Used about once a year normally, twice in mid Wales in an area with no mobile coverage! Got a Skoda Superb with gunk spray and compressor. Chucked both out and got full size wheel with same alloy as mine off ebay, jack from mondeo, tyre spanner from my toolkit. Now ready to face the world! Didn’t have an insert for the wheel so used bubble wrap to stop the stuff rattling.

  4. I get why people want a spare. But how many carry an air assisted ratchet gun to undo the wheel nuts?
    If you find yourself in flat territory then you had best have removed all wheels and done them up by hand with some grease maybe, as I cannot undo a wheel nut done up by a gun!
    Maybe you can….
    Goo, run flats make sense maybe.


    • If you can’t undo the nuts by hand with a reasonable wrench then they’re probably too tight. They should be tightened to the correct torque with whatever means used. Over tightening is as bad as not enough it overstresses the studs.

    • Tyre installers are supposed to complete tightening with a torque wrench – but some are too lazy and end with the gun – so over-tightening.

      More drivers should get into the habit of asking for a torque finish.

    • In buying a full size spare I also purchased a 22v plug in impact driver. Have had bad experiences trying to u do wheel nuts. I have a torque wrench so can get it right and know it’s safe.

  5. Sometimes the expanding foam can be of help. As a lone female with a puncture in a dark and dubious area, I was grateful for this very quick and unobtrusive fix. I have changed wheels before and really struggled to crack the wheel nuts loose, it took an age, even with an extension bar. In a safe, lit area – not a problem. However, I was quite scared that time, alone in the dark, and the expanding foam worked perfectly & had me on my way in minutes. Just my tuppence hapenny worth…

  6. Never ever buy a car with out a spare wheel/tyre. Imagine you are heading off on holiday whether to the airport/euro tunnel etc. You have a deadline to make otherwise your holiday is ruined and the cost of missing the flight can run into a few grand easily. My recent experience of a blow out on the M20 reminded me just how important it is to have a spare. I had checked all the tyres and spare prior to my trip and was unfortunate to have a puncture. It was minus 4 degrees C and 11pm and because I had recently changed over to winter tyres for my trip I was quickly able to sort everything out. I bought a new tyre as soon as I reached my destination and had peace of mind for my return leg. Not all people including my wife would be able to do change the tyre and it can be quite stressful if you suffer from a puncture, and feeling stranded. I drive a Lexus and was considering a BMW but would never buy a car without a spare wheel. It is just too risky!

    • I agree 100%
      This is a NECESSITY and not a luxury!!!
      I, too will NEVER buy any vehicle without an equal spare tire to the other 4 – insanity.

  7. I have just put a 115/70/16 in the wheel well of my 2013 Astra. It would have easily taken a 17″ wheel.
    The main problem is the wheel well is very shallow. It raises the boot floor about two inches.
    All I need to do now is put two inches of something around the edges of the boot area to stop the floor wobbling.
    Vauxhall could so easily have made the wheel well deeper.

    • I found this article online which confirms space saver wheels…

      Why is my space saver spare wheel smaller in diameter – should this not be the same?

      We have lots of past customers which have changed wheels and tyres smaller or bigger, and we have advised you must keep the rolling radius the same or within 2.5%, this is a must when changing to bigger or smaller wheels across all four to avoid a misreading speedometer and upsetting the gear ratio. A space saver can be up to 4-5% smaller shock!! Please remember these are only to be used as an emergency and will not be on long enough to cause an issue. Having said this the majority are within the 2.5% allowance.

  8. Getting stranded without a spare wheel is entirely the vehicle owner’s own fault, not the vehicle manufacturer. The manufacturer will try to get away with selling as little car as possible for as much money as possible. If you buy a car without a full-sized spare and end up as the frustrated fool at the side of the road with a shredded tyre, then you should think back to the time you validated the manufacturer’s decision by purchasing that vehicle. The opposite is also true: it wouldn’t take many lost sales due to lack of spare wheel (and communicated as such) for a manufacturer to start offering full-sized spares as a competitive advantage again.

    • I agree – people are often “sold” on nonsense, and only when stranded over 50 +++*+ miles away, realize they were taken…

  9. i have changed wheels due to punctures on many occasions. including hgv3. coming home from devon with my wife plus 4 sons on one occasion .our 3 litre cresta got a puncture.THE POLICE USED OUR SEASIDE ORANGE BUCKETS AS SIGNAL TO OTHER DRIVERS. what a great idea in them days SPARE WHEEL /JACK. i could not go without a spare wheel. NOW A YOUNG 82.

  10. Where tire pressure sensors have been fitted the goo cannot be used without destroying the sensor. So on top of the cost of a new tire there is the cost of a new sensor! The goo should be banned and a spare wheel made compulsory. They can leave the pump and pressure gauge.
    Meanwhile, for my new Kia Picanto I have purchased a space saver wheel, jack and wrench for £50 off EBay. It fits in the boot in the well made for it.

  11. I too have the same car, same age. I insisted, as a condition of the sale, that the dealership supplied a space-saver spare and the jack kit. Which they did. I understand that the kit is around £200 retail and just slots into place. Even cheaper on eBay. Well worth getting one.

  12. I would not buy a car without a full size spare, or at least somewhere to carry one.
    The idea of waiting for hours to be rescued when I could be up and running again in 15 minutes is ludicrous.

  13. Manufacturers need to ensure the motoring public have choice and re-factor in their car designs space for a ‘hidden’ spare wheel. In fact I am shocked that the breakdown services and the government have allowed them to get away with it so far as the costs to the breakdown services alone must be phenomenal and whilst I’m mentioning the government, it’s probably the EU that’s allowed the Manufacturers to remove this vital ‘get out of gaol’ safety equipment. Unfortunately if you’ve never had a puncture, you can’t possibly understand the inconvenience of having one and I suspect as more and more people realise they are missing the ‘insurance’ policy in the boot, they’ll vote with their feet and move to brands they would have once not considered. It will be interesting to see how this plays out over the coming years as more people wise up to the missing spare, because this issue not only has an impact on those thinking of buying new, but those buying used vehicles as well!

  14. I own a Jaguar XF Sportbrake with goo and a compressor. I plan a 3000 mile European road trip next year. Before doing the same last year in my Hyundai i40 I bought a full sized spare alloy and am so happy I did as I had a major blow out on a busy motorway feeder road. It’s no surprise therefore that for the Cat I have bought not only a spacesaver for short journeys but also a full sized 20″ alloy for longer trips plus a low entry trolley jack which I carry all the time. Total cost for peace of mind was a fraction over £200 – the bargains are out there. Well worth the cost. One bad puncture could easily cost much more.

  15. Hi,
    I took delivery of a new Mercedes C Class in January 2016 which comes without any form of spare wheel. I cover a lot of miles and I have had two flats, the supplied Goop and Compressor was useless and the tyre has to be replaced both times (on the roadside once and had to be transported to a garage to remedy this morning’s puncture).
    My previous car, a 2011 model of the same version came with a space saver wheel but I stupidly did not check when buying the current car.
    I’ve had enough of being stranded! I have decided that even though there is no compartment and it will compromise boot space I have no choice but to purchase a space saver wheel kit complete with jack etc so that I can at least continue on my journey and bring the wheel to be mended rather than remaining helpless on the roadside!
    Can anybody advise where I can buy a space saver kit in its own case for a 17″ Mercedes C Class (2015 model but first registered in Jan 2016).
    I am located in Ireland but UK/European vendors should be fine as long as wheel is guaranteed to be suitable.
    Many thanks.

  16. In 40 years of driving I have probably had a dozen flat tyres of different magnitudes. I was going to buy a new BMW series 1 Sports until I discovered no spare and no room for one in the boot. I am now looking for a new car with other manufacturers as I will only buy one which either has a spare wheel or can accomadate one. I just do not see any common sense to why this trend is continuing. I am recently retired and intend to do plenty of touring i.e Scotland and its islands but not without a spare wheel. And they call this progress?

  17. Call outs by the RAC have more than tripled from 28,000 call outs for punctured tyres to a whooping 94,000. Says it all really doesn’t it?

  18. repair kits really dont work for me , I am a driving instructor and cannot imagine being stranded with a student – i have just got a new mini cooper with 17″ wheels and have purchased a space saver to get me out of potential trouble – the space saver is 15″ and i have been assured by a BMW technician that this is absolutely fine

  19. can I use a 17inch space saver wheel to my new Vauxhall astra gtc 1.4 with 20 inch wheels in the event of a puncture.

    • Hi Graham. If it is the spare wheel which came with the car, then it should be suitable. If it is not, you would need to check with a tyre supplier or a Vauxhall dealer to make sure the wheel and tyre are a correct size to fit.

      There are several factors at play which need to be considered. The wheel may be 17″ in diameter compared to 20″, but the tyre profile (sidewall) would be taller than the very low profile tyres on the 20″ wheels, so the overall height of wheel and tyre should be the same. The mountings also need to be in the correct position – even if another wheel physically fits on the hub, it’s not necessarily correct for the vehicle.

  20. I test drove a used wonderful Mercedes C200 Sport Premium Plus Estate in Cardiff recently and it was sublime – exactly what I wanted. But then – not only no spare wheel or even space-saver spare wheel – but no space to store it even if I had one! It was by far the biggest factor in my not buying it. I’ve recently told my local Sussex Merc dealer the same – no space for a spare – no sale. It’s a compromise too far. The message just has to get across.

  21. Fire insurance for your house is rarely used – until you need it. And the fallacy that a mobile phone is any answer is just that. Coverage in the country? And no spare wheel, what is the AA man going to put on?
    This is the punters being trained for the benefit of the manufacturers. It’s a useless con, abetted by a public trained to have a little man do everything.
    50 years ago any man could change a wheel – and probably most women. Now, they can use an app on their iphone. Progress?

  22. I totally agree with the majority of the comments regarding the modern trend to supply gunge instead of a spare wheel. The manufacturers excuses for not fitting spare wheels are all lame excuses. The fact that the R A C did a trial test between cars with and without a spare in the boot to assess fuel economy in all driving conditions etc. proved that there is a saving, but is negligible, and over any standard conditions would probably not be able to be measured.

    The cost of fitting a spare and jack etc. can be compared to having car or house insurance " it is a complete waste of money until you need it, but then it is crucial."

  23. Just bought the Vauxhall Mokka and had a puncture too bad for goo to repair. After nightmare 3 hours trying to fix and AA recovery to airport I have decided I want a space saver wheel. Problem is Vauxhall are quoting £300 and I really don't want to spend that much. As this is a brand new model I can't find anyone with second hand ones to sell so was wondering if the space saver wheel of any of the other vauxhall range of cars would be suitable.
    Anyone with any advice would be greatly appreciated

  24. I wanted to buy a 2012 BMW 3 series but did not because there was not even room for a space saver and I did not want a car with run flats or have to put normal tires on it and a full size spare in the trunk taking up precious real estate! With run flats the ride quality is bad, they are expensive, hard to get and are known to crack the rims. I ended up buying a 2012 Audi A4 instead because it has room for a spacesaver at least but also did not come with a spacesaver, just the goo! I bought the proper size brand new one on eBay and it fit perfectly. I may newer use it but I feel better knowing I will never be stranded.
    BMW lost a sale with me because of their choice to eliminate the space for a spare and go with goo! I would bet I'm not the only one that bought a different brand because of no space for a spare.

  25. “In fact, many people with go their whole driving lives without ever having a flat tyre or blowout.”
    Lucky sods. I’ve had four in under 15 years, including at least one that was serious damage that green goo wouldn’t have fixed.

  26. i got spacesaver tyre with my nissan note .but bought spacesaver for my daughters ds3 citroen.and dumped the gunk but kept the compressor.

    • Hi Alastair,

      I have just purchased a new nissan note which doesn't have the spare tyre.
      I decided to buy a space saver tyre for the note from ebay but it won't fit in the boot well.
      Is there a way of fitting the tyre in the boot?



  27. 2009 corsa 1.4. Just purchased this vehicle and to my surprise, no spare or repair kit.Returned the car and they have supplied me with a 15inch tyre as the 16inch will not fit in the space.Is this legal or safe?

    • Hi Ken. It is probably legal, assuming that it is a wheel designed for that model Corsa. The wheel diameter of 15″ is not necessarily a problem, but it needs to be matched with the correct width and profile tyre, and the other wheel specs need to match the car. A tyre shop will be able to tell you if the tyre is correct for the job, and another dealer’s parts department will be able to confirm whether that wheel is correct for your Corsa.

      I am surprised that the car did not come with the tyre repair kit, since it would usually have to come with either the kit or a spare.

  28. I am waiting delivery of a 430d BMW on 19inch wheels with the infamous RFT which I am not happy about, so considered buying a couple of cans of tyre goo, or perhaps an emergency spare from e bay. But another thought I have a set of 18inch winter wheels and tyres for this car, so any reason why I should’nt just carry one of them, and buy a suitable jack, I already have a power bar.

    • Hi Bill. The tyre goo is normally no good for run-flats – the goo is designed to do exactly the same thing as the run-flat tyre, so it won’t help you in a situation where the run-flat is no longer usable.

      Assuming that the winter wheels/tyres are correct for this model, it shouldn’t be a problem as a short-term replacement for a damaged tyre.

    • Thanks Stuart, that’s what I thought, the wheels I have are for the new car, and I don’t need much room in the boot anyway, so that’s me sorted.

  29. I am in the process of buying a new car. I will not buy from any manufacturer who does not at least provide a space saver. I recently hhad a tyre blow due to debris on the M25 , the tyre was shredded. In about 5 minutes i fitted the space save and was on my way. Iin this instance a can of gunk would have been useless. I would have to been trailered off lost a nights pay and spent the next day sorting a new tyre. Using my spacesaver I was able to get to work and having driven to my local tyre fitter had a new tyre on in around 10 minutes. As I say i will not be buying from any manufacturer who will not supply me a spare wheel!

  30. In West London at 10 o’clock last night I clipped a kerb and damaged beyond repair the nearside front tyre of my 2013 Vauxhall Corsa. No spare wheel, only the famous ‘kit’ which would have been of no use. It was late on a wet Friday evening, the AA were going to take over an hour to get to me. We would then have had to drive around town to try to locate a replacement tyre – in the middle of the night. Fortunately, I was in a suburban area and had managed to drive into a large, open air public carpark, with a taxi rank close by. So I cancelled the AA callout, deciding the problem was better dealt with in the morning, abandoned the car and took a cab the two miles home. This morning, after my leaving home at the crack of dawn, a further AA callout and a visit to Quick Fit resolved the problem.

    I am 73 years old, not as young or fit as I was. I was lucky this happened where it did. Had I been somewhere more remote, the outcome would have been very different and not particularly pleasant. I shall be buying a spare wheel on Monday. I may never need it but that’s not the point. I would ask, were the car-buying public ever actually consulted about the omission of this, surely, essential item?

    • Of course they weren't. When you hear the pathetic excuses/reasons for a:
      (a) space saver (cheaper – they are actually vastly more expensive than a full-sized steel wheel and tyre AND last ONLY 50 miles),
      (b) can of green goo (of course it will work on that tyre that's lost a third of its sidewall — an AA technician said that he had witnessed only one occasion of green goo working in about 8 years).

      Next time you are driving to an airport, think about how much earlier you must set off if you were to have a puncture:
      (a) more than 50 miles from the airport (so your green goo won't get you there and the space saver will have worn out)
      (b) the hole is too big for goo
      (c) the breakdown company can't procure a spare and fit it as it's Sunday, or night time; or no one has that size, make, model, speed rating, tread pattern, load rating, etc. etc.

      Think how you explain to your wife and kids that you are going to miss the flight.

      Sum up the costs of all of this, and compare to the cost of a full size steel spare.

      Throw away dogma, political correctness etc. Spare wheel wins every time!

  31. Bought a brand new RAV4. It has a spare, jack and wheel brace! My daughter bought a new Kia Picanto. No spare, but the dealer supplied us with a spare wheel, jack and wheelbrace (which fits in the spare wheel well) for £100 extra. Paid it gladly!

  32. I am furious. We have a 2 month old Skoda Superb estate and at 7pm this evening had a major puncture. No spare tyre of any description just this toy compressor and tub of white liquid. After studying the page of intstructions in the handbook, which incidentally Skoda alluded to a spare wheel, I embarked on this doubtful process. Utterly useless. Most of it went over me. Car now abandoned which was thankfully only a mile from home but now unable to get to work tomorrow morning. All for the sake of a £100 spare. What if we were miles from home or on one of our regular trips abroad? I’m sure I wouldn’t be permitted to print what I’d like to do if I ever got my hands on the imbeciles who thought not chucking in a spare was such a wonderfully clever idea. Never again will I entertain a car without a full size spare.

  33. Just had a puncture in my Astra and as with all the above no spare just a useless pump filled with gunk which ruins the tyre no matter how minor the puncture what a waste of time bring back the proper spare wheel whatever the cost and possible addition to emissions

  34. Vehicle manufacturers should provide what their customers want in that there should be a full option of a proper spare wheel or a can of junk. There are times when junk is useless as in the times when I had wheel problems. Living in remote rural areas it is almost essential to have a proper spare and I would not entertain purchasing a vehicle without one. All my family have vehicles with a full size spare and would not leave home without one as experience shows one cannot rely on a good recovery service in rural areas. If purchasers want the junk then so be it they have the choice of having a cheaper vehicle and will have to put up with the possible consequences of call outs and recovery charges.

    Vehicle manufacturers who do not offer this option should provide a free wheel repair and replacement service nationwide for their customers if they want to proffer emission figures that to most are totally meaningless. To me a spare wheel is more important to an emission rating especially when this could be the difference between life and death situations as in rural areas emergency service attendance times are ridiculous and recovery expensive and times appalling or non-existent at times.

    Therefore if no spare wheel available in a proper place no purchase by us. Simple!

  35. Just had a puncture on a Suzuki Grand Vitara. New tyre cost me £150 – cost to replace the sealant cartridge supplied with vehicle repair kit £75 – what a rip off – you should be ashamed Suzuki

  36. Due to the very useless, nonsense repair kit in my brand new corsa…. i had a puncture on the Motorway at 10pm last night and after a long wait for the RAC that couldn t help me and another long wait for a truck to come and pick me up and take me home, I was in bed by 3 am….. and all this because vauxhall are saving a bit of weight on their car. i could have change the tyre myself in half an hour, be home by 11pm, not having wasted time and money with rescue trucks.

    • Not very nice for you but what would have happened if it had been a young Mum with a baby in winter, I dread to think what the consequences could have been. Tell your MP or BBC watchdog, this should be illegal.

  37. why don’t they go the whole hog :-
    space saver rear seats ( a couple of deck chairs)
    A single rear wheel ( placed in the centre of course)
    Remove all directional indicator lights ( lets go back to proper hand signs)
    and anything else you may wish to jettison

  38. I will not own a vehicle without a fill size spare. I live in Australia, drive 30000km per year and on average get several punctures a year – sometimes destroying tyres. You cannot get a tyre easily fixed on a weekend, may be hundreds of kilometres from home and literally stranded. I watched a neighbour with a mini that had a flat have to get it towed to get it fixed – this easily exceeded the cost of a spare tyre.

    Funnily enough hyundai have spares in all their cars right down to the i20 and it is a selling point (as is having a steel bar behind the rear plastic bumper rather than nothing).

    Most goverment departments will not permit cars without spares and manufacturers wishing to sell to these departments have the option with a foam filler kit for the boot. Even Suzuki with its Swift does this when required here.

    My other comment with this is car jacks – some of which simply dont work well with the car. I had a Rav4 that suffered a rear wheel puncture that the jack couldnt lift high enough to enable it to be changed. I had to place the jack on a housebrick in the middle of the night to get this to work (the suspension seemed to have a long travel).

    Jacks that work and spare tyres are as essential as a fuel or temperature gauge. Run out of fuel or let your vehicle overheat and you are stuck. No spare in the middle of nowhere is just as devastating. This can happen in the outback, or in the middle of Sydney

  39. “Remote parts of the world…” you say. I live in France, drive an Audi A4 and have had 3 punctures in the last 3 years – one of them in the UK. The Audi has a space-saver. I will never have another car without a full-size spare. In the UK (over 1,000 miles from home) the tyre was irreparably damaged by something that flew off a lorry. I use snow tyres all year. A replacement would have taken a week. Both punctures in France were on long journeys at the weekend when everything is shut. A 10 minute pit stop to change the wheel becomes a complex, expensive, timewasting hassle. And stressful with a deadline to meet. My tyres cost about £150 each. Using £50 a can of gunk would mean a new tyre and limited speed until then. In my case, there is no (financial saving or other advantage from a space-saver wheel.

    • There is another issue that has not been mentioned, anybody in their right mind who has a full size spare will rotate the tyres, look in any handbook from years gone by and rotation was recommended so you get the full value from the spare as long as it remains legal for its intended purpose of course. Another issue is what happens if the wheel is damaged and this happened to me a few years ago, 10 minutes to fit the spare but nearly 2 weeks to locate a new wheel from a dealer in London and dealers don’t keep spares now, what happens if the car is out of production?

    • Hi John. Unfortunately, very few drivers bother to ever rotate their tyres anymore. And plenty of cars have different size tyres front to rear, and/or are directional so can’t be rotated left to right, meaning lots of cars can’t have their tyres rotated anyway.
      Availability of replacement wheels or any spare parts will very much depend on the make and model. As cars get older, there will inevitably be fewer spares kept in stock and you may have to look elsewhere (independent specialists, eBay or wreckers, for example) to find what you need.

    • Agree entirely I learnt to drive in the army in the fifties and one of the first things to learn was tyre rotation, keeping the vehicle safe at all times for driver and troop members, which cars can you buy now with a real spare ???.
      Keith Cheshire

  40. I am no expert and share the views expressed here. However, isn’t converting to solid tyres another option?

    • Hi Philip. Tyres provide an important role in cushioning the car’s ride. The fact that they are largely full of air also makes them relatively light. If you had solid tyres, the ride would be unbearably harsh, and the tyres would be very heavy which would make the ride even worse. Tyre and wheel manufacturers are working on an integrated tyre/wheel concept (Michelin calls it, unsurprisingly, the Tweel), so we may see this on cars in the medium to long-term future.

  41. Lexus have moved away from emergency kits as they say it is affecting sales. This is a hint, that even though consumers want extra space and less weight, they also want to feel safe should they breakdown. The above comment is also experience, that drivers want a spare wheel for those unplanned emmergencies.

    • I totally agree!! I am/was a big second hand BMW fan until I am now thinking of upgrading my 5 series for a newer model only to find that you can only have run flat tyres and no spare! This means I need to drive slowly to a repairer who may not repair the tyre if he thinks you have driven the car for A:- longer than 50km or B:- over 50mph!! These tyres are also twice as expensive as normal tyres which takes the fun out of motoring with no stress..for me anyway!! Rant over! Thanks.

    • Hi you do not have to have run flats I fitted normal tyres to my car and they are fine in fact it is a far better ride

  42. Regarding breakdown kits – the Vauxhall Corsa breakdown kit is, in my experience, completely useless. One of the least fun evenings of my life trying to get my step daughters car home a mere quarter mile. A very expensive recovery for the sake of either a system that works, or a spare wheel. So this never happens again we’ve gone a bought a spare wheel off ebay, it’s rattling around in the boot. Disappointing in a £10K car that that they can’t even get this simple thing right.

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