Lack of spare puts pressure on breakdown companies – Times
Writing in The Times on November 1st, Simon de Bruxelles says: "Nearly half of all new cars now come without a spare tyre, putting unprecedented pressure on breakdown companies called out to deal with punctures, according to a survey.
"MINI, Volvo and SKODA have abandoned the spare altogether, and other manufacturers, such as Audi, fit them only to certain models. Where a spare is fitted, it is likely to be a thin ‘space saver' that can get the vehicle to the nearest garage but is not suitable for normal driving."
And why should we be worried? Because “breakdown companies say that they are now being inundated with calls to fix punctures. In the last year the RAC received 80,000 call-outs, an average of 220 a day, from drivers with a flat tyre but no spare.”
The report quotes Ford, “which provides 33 per cent of its cars with full-size spares and 67 per cent with repair kits, said that the puncture repair kit is ‘quicker, cleaner, easier and safer’ than changing a wheel.
“But the kits, a can of pressurised air with a latex solution, will not repair 20 per cent of flats, such as those caused by potholes.
“Green Flag, which has experienced an increase of 20 per cent in call-outs from drivers without a spare, said: ‘People are struggling to get to grips with the kits and prefer to call us out.’ “
Finally, there is another factor to be taken into account, as de Bruxelles says: “Even if a car does have a spare, research by Continental Tyres found that 41 per cent of drivers would not know how to fit it.”