Recently my dad bought a new car, well a second hand car, but new to him. My dad is old school and he was quite upset to discover that the car did not have a spare tyre. Where the tyre should be was a mould of Styrofoam. He was not impressed.
Why do some manufacturers no longer put spare tyres in some models?
There is a constant drive among manufacturers to make their cars fuel efficient and eco-friendly. Almost 30% of all new cars manufactured now do not have spare wheels. The lighter the car is, the more miles per gallon it will do. Clearly this sells cars when fuel is so expensive. However, you should stop and think. How much are you saving by not carrying a spare tyre compared to the hassle and expense of what happens when you get a puncture and have no spare wheel?
What do you do when you get a puncture?
Most people have never repaired a car tyre puncture themselves, but more people will have to learn how to use a car tyre repair kit. Up to now, (the good old days, my dad would say) when you get a puncture, you change the tyre and take it to a tyre depot to see if it can be repaired. That’s if you have a spare tyre.
What happens when you have no spare tyre?
Using manufacturer supplied car repair kit
Some cars are equipped with a sealant-based tyre repair kit. You inject the sealant through the valve and use the portable compressor unit to reinflate the tyre. If the tyre cannot be re-inflated the puncture will not be repairable and you will need to call for roadside assistance. If you have been able to temporarily repair the puncture then you will need to drive to the nearest tyre depot for a permanent repair. You should keep your speed under 30 mph for the first 3 miles, then check the tyre again. After that you should drive no faster than 50 mph to the nearest puncture repair centre.
At this point you may be able to have the puncture repaired, or you may need to purchase a new tyre. But you will definitely have to replace the sealant canister at a cost of anything from £28 to £50 to be ready for your next puncture experience!
Some vehicles have run-flat tyres which allow you to keep driving for a distance after getting a puncture. You should drive no further than 50 miles on most run-flat tyres and keep your speed down. We will put up more information on run-flat tyres in a future blog post.
Are tyre repair kits cost efficient? Well, not necessarily …
Research by Which magazine in May 2013 showed that when you get a puncture, replacing the sealant canister and the tyre can prove more expensive than the fuel you saved by not having a spare tyre on board. Of course, you might be lucky and never have a puncture, but given the pot holes and debris on our roads, the odds are not good.
So next time you change your car, don’t forget to check if it has a spare tyre. If it doesn’t, consider asking the dealer to provide you with a spare to stash in your shed or garage (included in the purchase price of course). If you find your vehicle has a puncture outside your front door, it will be less hassle (and more cost effective) to change the tyre and get the puncture repaired in the normal way. Of course, if you are out and about without a spare tyre, you are back to square one.
If you are interested in buying a spare tyre, please call us on 028 9269 9107 and we will happy to help, or complete one of our contact forms and we will get back to you.
The important thing to remember is, always get your puncture repaired by experts who will tell you if it is not repairable so that your car is safe and insured on the road.