KANSAS CITY, Mo. - If you're in the market for a new car or you bought one in the past year, you might want to pop open your trunk and check to see if your car has a spare tire. Spare tires, which used to come standard with new cars, are now considered an add-on in about half of the new cars on the market.
Car manufacturers say they made the change to help with fuel efficiency and reduce the weight of the vehicle, but many buyers are unhappy with the change.
Automotive experts at edmunds.com estimate between one third and one half of new cars being manufactured do not have a spare tire, or even a temporary spare tire.
Automakers point to research showing most motorists call for roadside assistance to fix a flat, even when there was a spare tire in their car's trunk.
However, consumer advocates say the burden should fall on dealerships to make car buyers aware of the fact that spare tires may not be included in their purchase.
Carroll Lachnit of edmunds.com elaborated, "They should tell consumers 'look, as I point out the features in the car to you I want to show you that this is the tire repair kit and I want to emphasize that there's not a spare in the car."
Many dealers are including a tire repair kit with a portable air compressor rather than the spare. That kit will get you just about far enough to get to an automotive repair shop and not much further.