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Why are many cars now being sold without a spare tyre?

In recent years, it has become increasingly common for new cars to be sold without a spare tyre. This trend has left many drivers confused and sometimes frustrated when they find themselves stranded with a flat tyre. There are several reasons behind this shift, including advancements in automotive technology, economic considerations, and environmental factors. In this article, we delve into some of the reasons why more cars are being sold without a spare tyre.

1. Weight reduction for fuel efficiency

One of the primary reasons for newer cars not having a spare tyre is to improve fuel efficiency. Every bit of weight reduction helps increase a vehicle's miles per gallon (MPG). A traditional spare tyre, along with its tools, can add approximately 13 to 22 kg to the car’s total weight. By removing it, manufacturers can achieve a small but significant improvement in fuel efficiency, which contributes to lower emissions.

2. Cost savings

Another significant factor is cost. By not including a spare tyre, manufacturers can save on production costs. While the price of an individual spare tyre might not seem substantial, when multiplied across hundreds of thousands of vehicles, the savings become quite significant.

3. Advancements in tyre technology

Tyre technology has advanced substantially in recent years. Many modern vehicles are now equipped with run-flat tyres, designed to be driven for a limited distance after a puncture, typically around 50 miles at a reduced speed. This allows drivers to safely reach a service station without needing to change the tyre on the roadside. Additionally, the quality and durability of tyres have improved, reducing the incidence of flats and blowouts.

4. Tyre repair kits

Instead of spare tyre, many manufacturers now include a tyre repair kit with sealants and compressors. These kits are designed to temporarily fix minor punctures, allowing the driver to continue driving to a location where the tyre can be safely repaired or replaced. These kits are lighter and more compact than spare tyres, reducing the vehicle's overall weight and saving valuable boot space.

5. Space-saving designs

Space in modern vehicles is sometimes at a premium, especially in smaller cars. Removing the spare tyre frees up additional storage space, which can be a significant advantage for drivers who prioritise luggage capacity and interior space over having a spare tyre.

The move away from including spare tyres in new cars is driven by a combination of factors aimed at improving fuel efficiency, reducing costs, leveraging advancements in tyres technology and saving space. While the absence of a spare tyre may initially seem inconvenient, these changes reflect broader trends in the automotive industry focused on efficiency and innovation.

Written by Lucrezia | 2 min read
26 Jun 2024