A spare tire is a good thing to have when your vehicle breaks down. When you need it, you’ll be glad for its presence.
The newer the vehicle, the more likely it is to come with a spare. Spare tires used to be standard equipment on every car, but unless you’re driving an old clunker, there’s a good chance yours doesn’t have one.
A lot of people don’t realize this because many new cars don’t even have a trunk that can hold a spare tire. That’s because they’re using run-flat tires, which are designed to keep rolling even if they go flat—and you may not even notice right away when they do.
Still, that doesn’t mean new cars never come with spares. As of 2015, virtually every full-size SUV sold in the U.S., including Suburban and Tahoe from Chevy and Expedition from Ford comes with one (as does Toyota Land Cruiser). The same is true for pretty much all sedans smaller than mid-size (except some Scion and Kia models) through 2016 model year or so—but after that it becomes less certain whether they still get them or not
Less than 10% of new vehicles have a full-size spare tire.
Generally, the answer is no. While government regulations do not yet require automakers to include spare tires on all new cars, less than 10% of new vehicles have a full-size spare tire. This is a trend in the auto industry as fuel economy and performance are becoming more important to car buyers. Some automakers don’t include them simply because it saves money in the production process.
Of course, many top-selling cars with low base prices still come with a spare tire, but more expensive models often omit them from the list of standard equipment. The average cost for a spare tire ranges from $100 to $200 for most makes and models — quite an expense for carmakers at production time!
Even if a new vehicle comes with a spare, it might not be full size.
Having a spare tire can be the difference between your car being spared the cost of towing, and you having to pay for it. Even if a new vehicle comes with a spare, it might not be full size. A compact spare is a smaller tire than the regular tires on your car (usually around 15 inches). It’s made of a harder rubber compound and is less expensive than conventional tires, but it’s not designed for long distances or high speeds. A compact spare might also have different specifications than your regular tires in terms of width, aspect ratio, and rim size.
You can buy an after-market spare tire for your car to keep in the trunk.
A spare tire will come in handy if you get a flat tire. Keep one in the trunk of your car for emergencies, or replace a donut with an appropriate spare.
However, since not all cars come equipped with a spare tire, you might need to buy one yourself. This can be annoying and time-consuming, especially when you’re already late for work. But it doesn’t have to be difficult! If you follow these simple steps, finding the right size spare tire for your vehicle is actually pretty straightforward:
- Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual. You’ll want to make sure that the spare fits into whatever space you’ve got available and also that it doesn’t weigh too much (a heavy spare can damage your suspension).
- Shop around online (eBay or Amazon are good places to start). Be sure to confirm that the seller is reputable by checking out their return policy and looking at what other people who have bought from them are saying about their experience.
- Read reviews from other buyers before making any purchases!
It’s illegal to sell most used vehicles without a spare tire.
If you’re buying a used car, you’ll want to check that it has a spare tire. In most states, it’s actually illegal for dealerships to sell a used car without one. The reason for this is that spare tires are mandatory in order to pass safety inspections.
Ideally, the spare tire will be located under the floor of the trunk (if your car has one) or in a compartment near the rear bumper. If they don’t have one or if there isn’t room for it, chances are they can install an appropriate sized spare tire on your behalf.
If you choose to purchase the vehicle and receive no compensation from the seller regarding the missing spare tire, make sure you understand what this means for your safety inspection and repairs down the road.
Most new cars do not come with spare tires, so you may want to consider buying one for emergencies.
In the past, it was not uncommon for new cars to come with a spare tire. However, as car manufacturers have tried to cut costs and reduce weight in their vehicles, many have eliminated the spare tire or replaced it with a smaller emergency tire or “space saver.” While buying a new car doesn’t mean you’ll be left stranded if you get a flat tire on the road, it does mean that you may need to consider finding a solution for emergencies.
If your new car comes with a smaller space saver tire instead of a full-size spare tire, there are certain things you should know before using it:
- You can only use this type of spare on the front axle
- You cannot go over 55 mph (88 km/hour) while driving on it
- It is meant for short distances only