New car buyers surprised to find no spare tire

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Can you spare a spare? That’s what many drivers are asking their car manufacturers after realizing their new cars didn’t come with a spare tire.

If you’re buying a new car, you most likely aren’t checking for a spare tire, but you may want to take a peek in the trunk before you get stranded on the highway.

Within the past few years, both Nancy Costa and Wayne Croto of East Providence bought new cars, and both were shocked to learn they didn’t come equipped with spare tires.

“I’m angry, because they should have told me about this when I bought the car,” said Costa.

Call 12 for Action did some checking, and learned that many car manufacturers are eliminating spare tires and replacing them with inflator kits instead.

“That mobility kit only fixes small punctures, and on top of that, it renders the tire unserviceable later,” said car safety expert Sean Kane.

We learned that manufacturers eliminate spare tires because it lessens the overall weight of the car to help increase gas mileage. According to Kane, it costs the companies roughly $22 for a spare tire per car, but many are charging an average of $300 to buy a spare.

“It’s a huge markup, and clearly customers want them and are requesting them,” he said. “There’s another way for them to generate revenue.”

Unfortunately, most people have no idea that the spare is not available until they need it.

Many performance cars don’t come with spare tires, since those are equipped with run-flat tires, which allow you to drive a limited distance.

Bottom line, don’t rely on a car salesperson to tell you whether a car comes with a spare, and most owner’s manuals won’t tell you either.

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