Watchdog reveals problems motorists suffer with vehicles not equipped with spare tyres

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By Denna Bowman

Motorists are being left stranded because many leading car manufacturers have stopped supplying spare tyres with their vehicles, according to a report by the BBC.

Watchdog, the consumer rights programme, highlighted the issue last night and featured angry motorists who had been supplied with a tyre repair kit for use in an emergency.

According to the report, the kits, which use sealant to repair a puncture, are alien and complicated for the average road user, but can also be ineffective, leaving people stranded on the roadside.

Motoring breakdown service Green Flag has reported a 20 per cent increase in the number of stranded motorists it deals with and the RAC receives more than 80,000 calls a year from motorists with no spare tyre.

RAC patrolman Crackers Patel told Watchdog: “We have limited success with the sealant kits and, in some circumstances, we can’t use the kits at all.”

This was the case for one motorist featured on the programme as a case study, Robert Griffiths, who experienced a puncture on New Year’s Day. One of his tyres on his 2010 Vauxhall Zafira was left completely shredded after a blow-out, rendering the standard sealant kit ineffective.

Claiming he could have changed the tyre, if there had been a spare, in ‘just 15 minutes’. Griffiths was forced to call recovery services and his breakdown took a total of two-and-a-half hours to deal with.

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