Gransnet forums


Spare wheels

(35 Posts)
grandMattie Mon 20-Nov-23 07:31:07

I have just heard that only 3% of new cars have a spare wheel as standard. It horrifies me (even though I no longer drive).
Are new customers aware of this? Do they pay extra for one? Is there a place to keep a spare safely or does it rattle around in the boot?

Marmin Mon 20-Nov-23 07:39:18

This has been the norm for many years now. It saves both money and weight for manufacturers. Many owners do buy a spare but often there is no purpose built space to put it. My current car has no spare nor space for it. After five years the inevitable happened and I suffered a flat tyre. My breakdown cover came to my rescue, collecting the car and taking it to my preferred tyrefitter. Fortunately my wife was able tomcollect me and sominconvenience was minimised. Incidentally, I pay £26 per annum for my breakdown cover and the service was first class. (Start is the company.)

Georgesgran Mon 20-Nov-23 07:41:56

This has been ‘normal’ for many years. Apparently, it’s known that the majority of spares are never actually used and as smaller cars are more popular now, there’s a substantial saving in space and cost, plus the extra weight saving of carrying a full-size spare. It’s also been shown that when a spare is used, the majority of motorists don’t bother to replace it. Similarly, people don’t maintain their spare and they’re often useless/under inflated when needed. Of course many cars do have a ‘get you home spare’ and others like BMW and Mini have run flat tyres.
I’m not saying it’s ideal, but it’s standard practice now.

shysal Mon 20-Nov-23 07:51:10

I bought a spare wheel when I bought my car new 12 years ago, it sits happily in my boot surrounded by the numerous 'just in case' items. Never used it , but it is reassuring. They supply as standard a foam filler for small punctures, but wouldn't solve a blowout!
I know that some of the new cars nowadays have 'run flat' tyres which will get you home or to a garage, but again, I doubt they would survive a blowout.

grandMattie Mon 20-Nov-23 09:12:11

Gosh! Not having bought a car for years now, I was totally unaware.
These days with the huge number of potholes, surely a spare is de rigeur?

Parsley3 Mon 20-Nov-23 09:18:03

Not really. I had a flat tyre and was able to use the pump thing that blows up the tyre and plugs the hole. I could then drive to a tyre repair shop but I would never be able to change a tyre without help.

Nannarose Mon 20-Nov-23 09:27:10

We grew up in an age when being self-sufficient whilst driving was very important. I'm sure, like most of you, I had the mantra of drilled into me: know how to change a wheel, always carry a can of petrol and a torch etc.

However, changing a wheel is more fraught now - roads are busier, and it is often unsafe. Mobile phone use means that it is now much more sensible to call your breakdown service and let them deal with it - even if they do it roadside they will do it quicker and with flashing lights to warn other road users.

As I wouldn't attempt to change a wheel now, carrying a spare isn't an issue.

Germanshepherdsmum Mon 20-Nov-23 09:34:32

My car, purchased 2007, doesn’t have a spare wheel nor any space for one. Instead it has a puncture repair kit which I wouldn’t dream of trying out. I have always had breakdown cover.

Grannynannywanny Mon 20-Nov-23 09:38:11

I’ve had 2 new cars in the past 25 years and neither came with a spare as standard and I paid extra for one. Current car bought 8 years ago I think the spare wheel was £400 extra. They are referred to as space saver wheels and aren’t as robust as the normal ones. It’s stored in a deep recess under a lid in the boot. They are really only intended for temporary use and shouldn’t be driven at over 50 mph. I used to be able to change the wheel but now rely on the AA to come to my rescue.

karmalady Mon 20-Nov-23 09:43:58

yes GM, we had to pay extra for a spare wheel in 2014, I have never used it and could not for a long journey anyway because I recently found out that they are not the exact size of the wheels on the car. So I have carried this spare wheel under my boot for 9 years, however the biggest advantage, apart from the lack of worry, is that it means that my boot does not have a lip, so I can roll/pull heavy bags out, such as gravel and compost. Plus I can put my bike in because of the flat floor

No wonder cars like mine have retained their value and then some. I had a nose on we buy any car and I was offered a lot more than expected. It will never be sold, I think it will become a cult car in future

My dad taught me how to change a wheel, in the days when when nuts were not impossible to undo. I have AA coverage and always carry my phone when in the car, just in case

Missedout Mon 20-Nov-23 09:48:08

I've had a couple of 'blowouts' while driving my first and second Minis. I couldn't avoid either pot hole (one just looked like a puddle - it was a wet day).

I carried on driving cautiously on my 'run flat' tyres to a garage on both occasions. But replacing the tyres was very expensive, a track rod was also damaged the first time. DH's car has a small, spare wheel (for emergencies only) but needed to change the wheel at the time by the side of a busy road. Either way, it was expensive, time consuming and brought on rants about the state of our roads. We reported all potholes -nobody cared.

henetha Mon 20-Nov-23 11:06:52

I've got a temporary wheel which can be used just until you can get the problem fixed. I had a blow out last year and also have breakdown cover, so the RAC came and fitted this little wheel (they are a bit smaller than the real one) . So it's now in the boot of my car in case something happens again....but I do hope it doesn't!

karmalady Mon 20-Nov-23 11:12:51

btw my spare wheel is a heavy `real` wheel, just not quite the right size. It is robust with a normal tyre and too heavy for me to lift. Perhaps we should have checked that it was the same actual size as the wheels on the car but hindsight is wonderful

Theexwife Mon 20-Nov-23 11:31:27

My last car was 11 years old and didn’t have a spare, it had the pump which I had to use once and worked fine.

Greyduster Mon 20-Nov-23 12:24:48

I have run flat tyres on my Mini and I don’t like them at all. They make for a hard ride on uneven roads, are expensive to replace and can damage alloy wheels if you hit a pothole. We have sone of the worst roads in the country for potholes. Manufacturers of electric and hybrid vehicles are doing everything they can to keep weight to a minimum to compensate for the weight of the battery so spare wheels are a no-no.

Norah Mon 20-Nov-23 13:05:12

We've breakdown cover. No worries.

Grannmarie Mon 20-Nov-23 13:41:26

When I bought my Honda Jazz 10 years ago, it didn't have a spare, just a puncture repair foam canister. However it did have a spare recess in the boot so my son bought me a proper spare wheel, jack etc from ebay. Peace of mind, especially when we had a blowout on the first day of our driving holiday in the Highlands. My AA cover sent out a breakdown truck from a local garage to get us off the road, and changed the wheel in no time at all.

So it's belt and braces for us, proper spare and breakdown cover as neither of us is able to change a wheel now.

Georgesgran Mon 20-Nov-23 14:41:27

My fairly comprehensive breakdown cover is only £26 - worth it for the puncture I got in my last car, hitting a pothole. I know how to change the tyre, but with 19inch wheels and low profile tyres, I’ll leave it to the professionals.

LOUISA1523 Mon 20-Nov-23 14:50:04

I would never attempt to change a tyre a spare wheel would be of no use for me.....I would call my breakdown cover provider

Mikkima Mon 20-Nov-23 15:45:48

We have breakdown cover and also a spare. Several garages told us that it is too expensive to clean out the tyre when the 'filler'pump is used and they just replace the tyres and chuck the damaged ones! To avoid this we have just put the spare in as we change the car. Of course it helps that we buy the same car each time

TwiceAsNice Mon 20-Nov-23 15:48:03

It horrifies me too! I had a new car last year and paid extra for a spare wheel , I think that’s a con but couldn’t bear not to have one

greenlady102 Mon 20-Nov-23 15:48:59

I was delighted to find my car has no spare. I can easily handle the glue and reinflate gizmo but, while I know how to change a wheel, I could never do it.

cornergran Mon 20-Nov-23 17:05:22

No room in ours for a spare, it’s a hybrid and there’s a battery where a spare could sit. We’ve one of the foam repair kits to get us moving if necessary, just hope I never have to use it. I learned to drive at 17 , bought an ancient car which my dad made roadworthy and then refused to let me drive it until I demonstrated I could change a wheel. Those were the days😀.

At least 25 years ago, alone and 60 miles from home, I returned to the car to find a very flat tyre. No way could I move the wheel nuts. Out came the breakdown truck, wheel quickly changed, I limped home on the spare, bright yellow, space saver wheel.

When test driving our current car I muttered about the lack of spare wheel. Mr C pointed out as I can’t move the wheel nuts I couldn’t change a wheel now and if I didn’t feel confident with the repair kit would need the breakdown folk either way. There’s logic for you. Irritatingly he was right.

Grantanow Mon 20-Nov-23 17:10:44

I used to change wheels but no longer!

Georgesgran Mon 20-Nov-23 18:22:01

Many years ago, I drove quite an exotic car and came out to a flat tyre outside the DDs school. No panic - breakdown cover used.
The mechanic asked about the spare and I showed him where it would be. Well, when he finally got it out, it was a ‘get you home’ job and looked like a frisbee with a fringe! The fringe was in fact, a flat tyre folded up, concertina style like those old rain hats! He’d never seen anything like it and had to take it away to a local garage to inflate it. He was so interested/intrigued that he insisted on following me home - 25 miles down the A1M.