Which? reveal why a space-saver car tyre is not a patch on a full size wheel

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There is nothing worse than getting a punctured tyre – unless you get a punctured tyre and don’t have a full-size spare wheel in the boot of the car.

Consumer champion Which? has ramped up its pressure on the car makers to go back to fitting proper spare wheel as standard with this great first-hand experience report by one of its team.

Rob Hull, Senior Cars Researcher for Which? Transport & Travel, had a mini-break with friends ruined when he suffered a punctured tyre on the Volvo V70 he was test driving. Fortunately it was equipped with a spare tyre, but it was a temporary space-saver and Rob and three pals were 280 miles from home…

Rob writes: “…with speed restricted to 50mph and a restraint on distance due to the limited tread depth of a space saver, and the wheel too damaged to put a new tyre onto, the problem was far from sorted to make the return trip.

“With all the technicians at the local Volvo garage in Newcastle already clocked off on the Saturday, no replacement wheel available in stock, and me due to fly to Rome on Monday morning, I had no other option but to leave the car with the dealer to be recovered. We then had to book a train back to London – an additional £172 for the four of us.”

Which? has invited motorists to add their views to the debate and not surprisingly the vast majority are in favour of a return to fitting a full-sized wheel as standard on all vehicles.

A recent survey revealed that 78% of motorists want a full-size spare wheel, however, when confronted with this fact Volvo insisted that they had not received feedback from owners complaining about not having a spare wheel, and that a £150 charge for a temporary space-saver wheel was adequate on all models.

Yet as Rob reported: “Had the Volvo been equipped with a full-size spare wheel, the issue would have been rectified in a matter of minutes at the roadside, rather than costing us a good portion of the day, a fair bit of money and a huge logistical headache.

“We’ll continue to tell manufacturers that we think all new cars should have a spare wheel of some capacity as a no-cost option, and I’ll happily use my own experience to back that up.”

To read the full report and add a comment click here.

Motorists who suffer a punctured tyre often think that they have to fork out for a new replacement. However, etyres carry out a popular puncture repair service which gets them back on the road at a fraction of the cost of a premium tyre.

Denna Bowman, Head Office

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