AA trials universal spare wheel too

The AA reports that it is the latest motoring organisation to be trialling the use of a ‘universal spare wheel’. At the same time the company revealed data relating to spare tyre usage. A survey of 22,827 AA members revealed that close to a fifth (17 per cent) of members do not have a spare wheel in their car. The innovative wheel fits the majority of modern cars with a five-stud wheel. The 17” alloy uses a system of special adaptors of ten different sizes to find the best fit.

Punctures and other tyre-related issues are the AA’s second-most common call-out – after batteries – averaging 35,000 a month or more than one in ten breakdowns.

When the wheel is fitted, the car is subject to a 50 mph maximum speed restriction. It is for temporary use only.

Donald MacSporran, the AA’s head of technical, says, “Although punctures are thankfully rare for most drivers, you can’t beat the convenience of a spare wheel.

“If your car doesn’t have one, we can sometimes perform a temporary repair at the roadside or take the damaged wheel to a local tyre fitter but this can take time. The ‘universal’ spare offers a more convenient alternative by allowing you to drive to a local tyre depot yourself or continue your journey with the minimum of fuss. “The patrol will reclaim the spare from the tyre depot or it gets couriered back to us after you’ve finished with it.”

The nationwide trial is the latest innovation by the UK’s biggest breakdown provider to further improve its ability to fix cars at the roadside. In the last 12 months alone, the AA has invested around £15 million in patrols’ training, equipment, technology and vehicles.

Survey results

The AA-Populus survey also revealed:

• Only around half (54 per cent) have a full-size spare in the boot

• 29 per cent have a space-saver ‘skinny’ spare

• Around one-in-ten (9 per cent) have a tyre sealant/inflation kit

• 3 per cent have run-flat tyres

• 522 respondents (2 per cent) didn’t know what, if anything, they have in their boot.

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