Reflecting a growing trend in the automotive industry, a study conducted by AAA shows one-third of 2017 model year vehicles do not come equipped with a spare tire.
Many manufacturers are eliminating spares as a way to reduce weight and improve fuel economy. Instead, they are supplying car repair kits, along with high-tech air monitoring systems.
“When you’re getting a new vehicle, ask if there’s going to be a spare and if you can purchase a spare to have it in the vehicle,” suggests Director of Public Relations for AAA of Western and Central New York Elizabeth Carey.
Flat tires are still the top reason members call for roadside assistance, according to AAA. The agency says the common problem affected 450,000 members last year alone.
In 2015, another AAA study showed tire-inflator kits were ineffective in repairing certain types of tire problems, like blowouts and sidewall damage.
"A kit like that is not going to help you like a spare tire would,” Carey said.
Carey encourages motorists to check their tire pressures every month. She also recommends knowing how to change a flat tire in an emergency situation. Research shows that 20 percent of all drivers do not know how to change a flat.