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Where being prepared for expensive, inconvenient eventualities is an essential aspect of confident motoring, one previously standard feature of road safety is surprisingly becoming less commonplace. Drivers of newer cars are noticing something missing from their cars, something previously ubiquitous: the spare tyre.

In the interests of reducing the overall weight of the car, thereby saving fuel and complying with government policy on Co2 emissions from new cars, manufacturers are making weight savings by eschewing the trusty spare, offering a can of foam for drivers to use to patch up a damaged tyre so it can be driven a short journey at low speed to a garage to be replaced. And that’s the key; the wheel will need completely replacing. The can of goo corrodes your tyre, rendering an otherwise repairable puncture completely irreparable. The foam is unsuitable for any large or serious tyre blowout; in these circumstances, you must call out roadside recovery to change your tyre.

It is thought that motorists will only have a puncture every 3-4 years, and this provides the argument for omitting the spare from your new car (unless you pay for one as an additional feature).Yet, not having a spare in such eventualities could prove to be a false economy. The fuel savings made per year by not carrying a spare are so small as to be almost insignificant when weighed against the cost to the driver of shelling out for a whole new tyre, for example, when a repair might have been sufficient.

Anyone who has ever experienced a puncture or blowout will know the universal law that they almost invariably happen miles from home, late at night, in the pouring rain. To omit to carry a spare and risk a protracted roadside recovery experience, or attempt to make do with the can of goo when so far from home, immediately seems impractical when compared to the ease of swapping your tyre for the onboard replacement and getting home safely as quickly as possible.

There is no law which says you must carry a spare, or even that the spare must be fit for purpose, until you replace a tyre with your spare. At that point, you must ensure it is correctly inflated and has the legally required tread depth. Should you drive with a damaged or worn tyre, you are liable to a maximum penalty of £2500 and 3 points on your license. You will also risk invalidating your car insurance and putting your own and others’ lives at risk. Carrying a good, well-inflated replacement ensures that you get home safely and legally and maintain peace of mind.

The spare should be included when performing your car maintenance ( routine. Around 50 deaths on the road per year are caused by badly-maintained tyres, and 1000 more accidents are thought to be due to due to poor tyres. Be prepared to invest in a new tyre, should yours be irreparable. Keeping funds by for such eventualities, rather than attempting to make false savings and compromising practicality means you are never without that all-important spare tyre next time you are far from home and suffer a tyre blowout.