Skip advert
Advertisement

Are we at the end of the road for the spare wheel?

Just three per cent of new cars have a standard-fit spare in the boot, latest RAC data reveals

Spare wheel

Latest figures from the RAC point to a huge rise in the number of callouts to cars with no spare wheel that are left stranded by punctures. 

It says a “dramatic decline” in the number of cars fitted with spare wheels saw RAC patrols being forced to rescue almost 200,000 drivers in 2022 - figures from before the pandemic show the number was close to 165,000. Meanwhile, the advent of heavy electric vehicles that need to save weight as well as find space for large battery packs means it’s likely that the number of cars fitted with spare wheels will decrease even further below current levels.

According to the RAC, it has reviewed the spec sheets of more than 300 different models on sale today in the UK, from 28 brands, and discovered that just eight - 2.6 per cent - are equipped with a spare wheel as standard. In half of those cases, the spare was only available on certain model variants, it says.

Advertisement - Article continues below

RAC Breakdown spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Getting a puncture on a journey has to be one of the most irritating breakdowns for drivers, especially if it’s as a result of hitting one of the plethora of potholes that currently characterise so many of our roads. In the past, a driver could have reached for the spare wheel in the boot but this new analysis shows that these are now pretty much a thing of the past, with a miniscule number of new cars sold in the UK coming with one as standard.

“It’s understandable therefore that drivers are increasingly calling on us to help them out of a tight spot, and it’s a trend we fully expect to continue as electric vehicles are even less likely to come with a spare.”

To help deal with the increasing demand for roadside assistance, the RAC has just added a four-stud multi-fit spare wheel to the five-stud item its patrols were already carrying. However, it also reminds drivers that in very many cases manufacturers still offer spare wheels - whether full-size or space-savers - as an option, saying that acquiring one is likely to be “a wise investment”.

Do you think there's still a place for the spare wheel? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Current affairs and features editor

Chris covers all aspects of motoring life for Auto Express. Over a long career he has contributed news and car reviews to brands such as Autocar, WhatCar?, PistonHeads, Goodwood and The Motor Trader.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Government says ‘no’ to new cash incentives for electric car buyers
Parliament
News

Government says ‘no’ to new cash incentives for electric car buyers

A Lords Committee report backing car-makers’ calls for discounts to boost EV sales falls on deaf ears
19 Apr 2024
Tesla slashes Supercharger membership cost with 42 sites now open to all EVs
Tesla Superchargers
News

Tesla slashes Supercharger membership cost with 42 sites now open to all EVs

Tesla has cut the costs of its Supercharger Membership, which grants access to lower charging rates, by £2 per month
19 Apr 2024
Food or car insurance? Tough choices for low income households as costs spiral
Car insurance
News

Food or car insurance? Tough choices for low income households as costs spiral

Citizens Advice has told parliament’s Treasury Committee that people of colour pay, on average, £250 more for car insurance
18 Apr 2024
M25 weekend closure no.2 to bring “long delays” in May
Diversion route for the M25 closure between Junctions 8 and 10
News

M25 weekend closure no.2 to bring “long delays” in May

Further M25 closures are expected to take place throughout the year, with the next scheduled for 10-13 May
16 Apr 2024

Most Popular

Car Deal of the Day: sensational BMW M2 is a bargain at this price!
BMW M2 - front tracking
News

Car Deal of the Day: sensational BMW M2 is a bargain at this price!

Our Day of the Day for 18 April is the formidable BMW M2 performance car
18 Apr 2024
New Nissan Qashqai gets angry, as best-selling family SUV receives aggressive facelift
Nissan Qashqai reveal - front
News

New Nissan Qashqai gets angry, as best-selling family SUV receives aggressive facelift

In addition to its new much sharper design, the Qashqai now features Google apps and voice assistant built in
17 Apr 2024
New 2024 Audi A3 takes the fight to BMW and Mercedes with £32k price tag
Audi A3 Saloon - front action
News

New 2024 Audi A3 takes the fight to BMW and Mercedes with £32k price tag

The updated Audi A3 is available now, with the hot S3 version due from May
16 Apr 2024