Spare tires are disappearing from new cars

In an effort to increase miles per gallon and trunk space, car companies are dropping the spare from their vehicles.

By MSN Money Partner Sep 3, 2014 1:38PM

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News. 


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyGetting a flat tire in your new car is no fun. What's less fun is opening your trunk to find out you don't have a spare tire.

According to Consumer Reports, a growing number of new cars come without a spare tire. While some vehicles come with run-flat tires, specially designed to drive for a short duration of time after losing air, most mainstream cars come with only a small air compressor and sealant kit. CR said dropping spare tires increases trunk space and saves you money on gas.

SUV with flat tire © Toa55/Getty ImagesCR says:

Carmakers say the reason to skip the spare is due to increased pressure to squeeze more miles out of every gallon of fuel. And ditching a 40- or 50-pound tire and jack helps to increase mpg.

CR checked a number of vehicles to see if they have a spare tire or an inflator kit. Click here for a list of cars that only have inflator kits. But beware, the list is always changing.

Clearly, it's best to figure out if your car has a spare tire before you actually need it. Angie Hicks, founder of Angie's List, said:

For most, having a flat tire can be their worst nightmare, especially if they are caught on the road when it happens. Being prepared and knowing exactly what you've got when shopping for a car is going to be important. Don’t be afraid to ask the dealer what comes with the car. How does it work?

For CR tips on how to prepare for driving without a spare tire, click here.

I just checked my vehicle, and I do have a spare tire. Phew. I can't imagine being stuck with a flat tire and no spare on one of the rural highways in Montana, especially with our patchy cell service.

More from Money Talks News


Sep 3, 2014 2:13PM
Oh sh!t.... now the car manufacturing industry and dealers have decided to screw, nickel and dime us for every penny just like the airlines.
Sep 3, 2014 2:24PM
save 40 to 50 pounds to save gas when the car is filled with 350 pound mc donald eaters what the hell does 50 pounds mean nothing but money in there pocket
Sep 3, 2014 2:48PM
Our Hyundai Elantra did not come with a spare and the dealer told us not to worry because if we EVER have a flat tire the dealership will send a truck and replace the tire. Guess what they told us when we hit a pothole and got a flat ? Yup you guessed it , we were told they never said that so we ended up paying almost $350 for a tow and a new tire.
Sep 3, 2014 3:03PM
So let me get this straight...the car manufacturers want to save 50 pounds of weight on a spare for better gas mileage, meanwhile, if we fill our gas tanks (20 gallons x 10 pounds of weight per gallon = 200 total pounds).
I think the real reason here is not the weight issue but the manufacturers giving the customers less & charging us more.  What a crock of sh!t!!!!!!

Sep 3, 2014 2:21PM
do the new GMs come with a spare ignition switch
Sep 3, 2014 2:45PM
I smell a court case coming requiring the car companies to start installing "run flat" tires....anybody want to guess who'll ultimately have to pay for the new requirement?  
Sep 3, 2014 2:31PM
I had a 1956 Mercury wagon a while back that had the ORIGINAL spare in it, I actually had to use it in an emergency! Not the safest tire, as the rubber was like 60 years old! I had just used the new spare for a blowout a month before and forgot to replace it with a new one! OOOPS! But that old spare held air and got me home, 25 miles down the road.. 
Sep 3, 2014 3:47PM
What the **** good is a car without a spare tire,,are you supposed to run next to it and hold the car up,, damn fools.......................
Sep 3, 2014 2:54PM
The Sponge Bob generation has no clue how to change a tire. Plus they don't want to get dirt and grease on their hands. They would rather download an app that can change their tire instead. Hopefully they will enjoy looking at the stars on that lonely highway late at night, until the tow truck comes and does not have a spare either. They have lots of money anyway, they don't mind paying for a tow and a hotel.
Sep 3, 2014 3:03PM
The last paragraph says it all for MSN automotive articles.....never even knew of or checked for a spare...Wow, just wow.
Sep 3, 2014 3:22PM
The cost of one tow truck is way more than the cost of the gas that extra 50lbs will cost for the life of the car, not to mention the insecurity of being stuck somewhere that might not even have cell service, or an available tow service. At the very least run flats should be mandatory, but I bet they don't get the mileage of a regular tire, so there goes that weight savings benefit out the window again. Stupid bean counters, getting paid to make messes.
Sep 3, 2014 2:59PM
You can easily make up for the lost mileage from a spare with a K&N filter...and get some HP boost out of it too.  Too bad no dealer will throw one of those in on the buy....or tell you about it either.
Sep 3, 2014 2:44PM
well I guess the jack and crowbar is out too then
Sep 3, 2014 3:55PM
now i get to spend 100 dollar tow bill for saving 20 dollars worth of gas.The american ideas are are so lame.and greedy
Sep 3, 2014 3:29PM
As dumb as this article is, I guess I would have assumed my several thousand dollar new car came with a spare as a standard feature. Now I know to make sure before I purchase...


Negotiate a spare when you are purchasing a new car-don't take any chances! We learned that lesson the hard way!

Sep 3, 2014 3:19PM

Any new car I EVER considered...I would always check the spare....if it was a plastic donut, I'd walk away.  If I found none at all...I would tell the dealership "never buy your cars again"

Always look at the spare.  It's one of those things most people don't think of...until they need it.

See how much you like your new bling car when you break down in boonesville (or bad side of town) with a flat and realize you have no spare, AAA or roadside service....

Sep 3, 2014 4:50PM

For one thing those little space saver tires they have been using for years don't

weigh 40-50 pounds. Secondly I saw several commercials where they show some

couple in a warm café drinking a Latte and they start their car from their smart

phone so it is warm a half hour later when they go out. Now this is saving gas ???

What a bunch of hypocrites.

Sep 3, 2014 2:50PM
 Simple solution would be for someone to steal an wheel off another vehicle like they do truck tailgates (dang, why is my car on blocks?).
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