Many UK motorists stumped by a flat, shares Kwik-Fit
After reading the facts unearthed by the latest Kwik Fit survey, you’d be forgiven for wishing some British motorists stuck to public transport. The study of 2,027 adults carried out for the fast fit network shows that four per cent of respondents – a proportion representing 1.3 million British motorists – don’t even know if their vehicle has a spare wheel. Three per cent – think a million motorists – confessed to not having any provision whatsoever for a flat tyre.
And Kwik Fit says it isn’t just the rubber that’s missing in some cars – ten per cent (2.9 million) of drivers who do carry a spare say they don’t have the necessary tools in their car to change it over should a tyre blow. And 36 per cent (11.6 million) have the tools but admit they don’t know how to use them. Six per cent (1.8 million) are short on both fronts, with neither the equipment nor knowledge to fit a new wheel.
Confusion also exists as a result of vehicle manufacturers no longer offering full size spares as standard on some vehicles. One in ten motorists (3.3 million) who have a spare don’t know whether it’s a full-size spare or a low-speed space-saver, which could prove hazardous if a blowout happens on a long motorway journey. Complicating the issue further, some manufacturers offer neither a full size spare or a space saver, instead providing drivers with a puncture repair kit. Over four million drivers (11 per cent) have a puncture repair kit but the vast majority of them (3 million) don’t rely on the kit alone and also carry a spare, ensuring they are prepared for a double puncture.
“The recent trend amongst car manufacturers to offer space-saver spares or puncture repair kits instead of full-size spare tyres could be the cause of this confusion amongst motorists,” commented Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit. “It’s is worrying how many drivers don’t know what provision they have for a puncture, but it’s even more of a concern to see how many have absolutely nothing in their car to deal with a deflated tyre.
“For those who have recently bought a second hand car it’s also important that they assess the condition of the spare – there could be damage that isn’t obvious at a glance, and if it hasn’t been checked in a while it’s likely to be underinflated,” Griggs continued. “There are clearly gaps in knowledge around how to change a tyre, and indeed many cars are missing tools, which means even if a spare is carried some motorists will struggle to swap it over. Changing a wheel is a skill that all drivers should have, and if anyone isn’t confident enough to do so they can visit their local Kwik Fit centre and the team will happily walk them through it.”
In addition to sharing the results of its study, Kwik Fit says it is currently offering 25 per cent off the price of all tyres in its centres – which means, comments the company, that “there’s never been a better time for drivers to get their tyres checked or changed, and of course, not forgetting the spare.”