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AA trials ‘universal’ spare wheel

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The AA is trialling a ‘universal’ spare wheel after revealing close to a fifth (17%) of its members do not have a spare wheel in their car.

The wheel fits the majority of modern cars with a five-stud wheel, with the 17-inch alloy using a system of special adaptors of ten different sizes to find the best fit.

Punctures and other tyre-related issues are the AA’s second-most common call-out – after batteries – averaging 35,000 a month or more than one in ten breakdowns.

Donald MacSporran, the AA’s head of technical, said: “Although punctures are thankfully rare for most drivers, you can’t beat the convenience of a spare wheel.

“If your car doesn’t have one, we can sometimes perform a temporary repair at the roadside or take the damaged wheel to a local tyre fitter but this can take time.

“The ‘universal’ spare offers a more convenient alternative by allowing you to drive to a local tyre depot yourself or continue your journey with the minimum of fuss.

“The patrol will reclaim the spare from the tyre depot or it gets couriered back to us after you’ve finished with it.”

The nationwide trial is the latest innovation by the UK’s biggest breakdown provider to further improve its ability to fix cars at the roadside.

In the past 12 months, the AA has invested around £15 million in patrols’ training, equipment, technology and vehicles.

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  • Sydney Moore - 02/09/2013 11:36

    As an owner of a Toyota Rav 4 with the problem I consider it an extremely good idea, 'hats off' to AA for taking the lead in a matter that should have been addressed by the Motor Manufacturers instead of passing the expense onto someone else because they want to save money. However I still believe it is the responsibility of the Vehicle manufacturer to supply a spare full size tyre and rim or to even allow it to be purchased at a resonable price as an extra I do not consider £370+ vat to be resonable (Incl Tyre £130).

    • Rob Speedo - 02/09/2013 14:26

      @Sydney Moore - Totally agree, and it doesn't even have to be a full size, a 50mph space saver will do me, at least it gets you on the move again temporarily. Surely the can develop one that takes minimal room/weight within the car but has an extra grippy tyre formula to make up for the slimness, it may wear quickly but thats not an issue if its only even on a short time.

  • Steve Dolby, Michelin Tyre PLC - 02/09/2013 16:40

    Good afternoon, I am interested in the "univsersal" spare, and expecially how it will cope with the large variety of tyre sizes and wheel offsets in the market place? In particular current temporary spares have a similar overall diameter to the original tyre they are replacing. Using a universal spare with tyres with different overall diameters may cause handling, pull or transmission issues? Also would the universal spare be able to cope with the variety of wheel offsets in the market? Incorrect wheel offset could cause issues with the vehicle's steering and handling. Best regards

    • David Legg - 02/09/2013 17:38

      @Steve Dolby, Michelin Tyre PLC - please contact me ATS Euromaster as we have help develop this wheel over the passed year and will have all the information you require.

    • DAVID BRAIN - 06/09/2013 22:11

      @Steve Dolby, Michelin Tyre PLC -

  • Sandra murphy - 13/04/2015 23:28

    The AA came to me tonight and didn't have one to offer me should they have I've had to leave my car at a garage so I can go back tomorrow and get a new tyre

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