Spare Tires Are Disappearing From New Cars

In an effort to increase miles per gallon and trunk space, car companies are dropping the spare from their vehicles.

Spare Tires Are Disappearing From New Cars Photo (cc) by The Tire Zoo

Getting a flat tire in your new car is no fun. What’s less fun is opening your trunk to find out you don’t have a spare tire.

According to Consumer Reports, a growing number of new cars come without a spare tire. While some vehicles come with run-flat tires, specially designed to drive for a short duration of time after losing air, most mainstream cars come with only a small air compressor and sealant kit. CR said dropping spare tires increases trunk space and saves you money on gas. CR says:

Carmakers say the reason to skip the spare is due to increased pressure to squeeze more miles out of every gallon of fuel. And ditching a 40- or 50-pound tire and jack helps to increase mpg.

CR checked a number of vehicles to see if they have a spare tire or an inflator kit. Click here for a list of cars that only have inflator kits. But beware, the list is always changing.

Clearly, it’s best to figure out if your car has a spare tire before you actually need it. Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List, said:

For most, having a flat tire can be their worst nightmare, especially if they are caught on the road when it happens. Being prepared and knowing exactly what you’ve got when shopping for a car is going to be important. Don’t be afraid to ask the dealer what comes with the car. How does it work?

For CR tips on how to prepare for driving without a spare tire, click here.

I just checked my vehicle, and I do have a spare tire. Phew. I can’t imagine being stuck with a flat tire and no spare on one of the rural highways in Montana, especially with our patchy cell service.

Do you know if your car has a spare tire? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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