The New Frontier In Fuel Savings: Cars Without Spare Tires

If you want to lose some weight, get rid of your spare tire. No not your abdominal fat: the emergency spare in the back of your car. Our car-buying colleagues down the highway at the Consumer Reports auto testing center note that many new vehicles lack spare tires. Why? To save weight and thus fuel, and because nobody knows how to change them anymore, anyway.

It doesn’t hurt that putting a sealant kit and an air compressor in the trunk instead of a whole tire is cheaper for car manufacturers in addition to helping with gas mileage. Our colleagues note that most companies are skipping the spare now, in both high-end vehicles with run-flat tires and regular cars for regular people.

The argument against spares goes like this: most people don’t carry jacks or know how to change a tire, and will simply call a roadside assistance service anyway. That’s fine, but the problem is that certain kinds of punctures can’t just be patched and re-inflated. If you get a more serious puncture if some jerk actually slices your tire, or if you puncture the side wall by driving into a curb like I have totally not done three times, the car will have to be towed and the tire replaced or patched by a pro.

Your next car may not have a spare tire [Consumer Reports]
How to prepare for driving without a spare tire [Consumer Reports]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.