Do All Cars Come With A Spare Tire? (We Checked)

You’re driving and you get a flat tire for whatever reason. Hopefully, you weren’t going on a top speed.

All you have to do is open your trunk and get the spare, right? After all, you’re entitled to one, but are you?

Let’s find out.

Here’s the short answer to whether all cars come with a spare tire:

There’s a long list of cars in the market today that come without spare tires. Contrary to what you might think, everyday cars are on this list too. In fact, about 30 percent of all new cars don’t have spare tires. The reason for this is to cut cost and weight, among others.

What Cars Come Without a Spare Tire?

We’d give you a few examples in a moment, but first, it’s best you understand how it all works. Just because your car has no spare tire doesn’t mean there’s no alternative.

Many cars don’t have spares today because they come with run-flat tires. Others come with self-sealing tires or a tire inflator/repair kit.

These alternatives help save costs, space and time. More on that later on.

These new cars do not come with spare tires:

  • Mazda MX-5 Miata
  • Nissan GT-R
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Audi R8
  • Fiat 500
  • Kia Soul
  • BMW X3

These are a few car models without spare tires. More on that soon. For now, let’s get back to the stats.

Over a 5-year period, only about 10 percent of cars tested by Consumer Reports had full-sized spare tires. The remaining 60 percent had temporary spare tires, also known as donuts. Recall that about 30 percent of cars have no spares at all.

Donuts are smaller than regular car tires, have slimmer widths and brandish shallower tread patterns. This helps to reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency.

They’re only meant to serve as a lifeline till you find a new full-sized tire. They can’t serve as a permanent replacement as opposed to full-sized spares.

Still, most SUVs and trucks make use of full-sized spares because of the load they’re expected to carry. Donuts would hardly make the cut.

Do All New Cars Have Built-In Space for a Spare Tire?

Since more new cars now omit the spare tire, many cars don’t come with a built-in space for it. The BMW 3-series, for example, has no built in space for a spare. This means drivers have to rely solely on its run-flat tires.

Tire compartments were often located underneath trunk spaces or fitted outside cars. The compartments got smaller because of donuts and even smaller when repair kits showed up.

An example is the Toyota Sienna hybrid. The base trim comes with a spare tire, while higher trims only have a repair kit in the same location. Hence, in higher trims, they redesigned the tire compartment to only fit the repair kit.

So if your car doesn’t come with a spare tire, it probably has no tire compartment. Swap your run-flats for regular tires and you’d want a spare. No worries, there’s usually a way to create a compartment for it.

We Checked These Brands

So we’ve established that many new cars today come without spare tires. Let’s check out some well-known car brands to see if they’ve joined the trend.

Do KIAs Come With Spare Tires?

A good number of Kia models today don’t come with spare tires. Among them are the Kia Rio, Kia Niro, Kia Sportage, Kia Forte and Kia Soul.

These Kia models are more tuned to the Kia Tire Mobility Kit than to run-flat tires. With the mobility kit, you’d be able to seal and inflate your punctured tire.

Do BMWs Come With Spare Tires?

Although most BMWs today come with run-flats, some of them still have regular tires. However, they still don’t have spares. They’re mostly equipped with the BMW mobility kit.

The mobility kit is just BMW’s version of the tire inflator kit. In the event of a puncture, you can easily fix and inflate your tire. However, there’s little you can do if a blowout occurs.

Models like the BMW M5 usually have conventional tires and a mobility kit.

Related: Do Run-Flat Tires Really Make A Difference? (Solved)

Do Fords Come With Spare Tires?

Ford is one of the few top automakers today that hasn’t completely given in to the trend. Quite several Ford models still come with spare tires.

The ones that don’t come with spares like the Ford EcoSport and the Ford C-Max come with a tire mobility kit.

Do Chevys Come With Spare Tires?

Many Chevrolet models do not come with spare tires. The Chevy Volt, Chevy Camaro, Chevy Corvette have been missing spare tires for some years now.

It makes sense for the Camaro and the Corvette to not have spares because sport cars are usually lightweight. They don’t need the extra drag.

Other models like the Chevy SS and the Chevy Bolt also have no spares.

The Chevy Spark and Chevy Cruze may also come without spares. It depends on the trim and how recent the model year is.

However, you can still get spare tires on these cars as an aftermarket option.

Do Hyundais Come With Spare Tires?

Like many other cars on this list, Hyundai models are divided. Some Hyundai models don’t have spares.

However, many of them still come with a spare tire. Though they may not be full-sized, they are spare tires all the same.

Some models without spares include the Hyundai Ioniq, Accent and Elantra.

Do Jeeps Come With Spare Tires?

Your favorite off-road brand should definitely have spares, shouldn’t it? Unfortunately, even some Jeeps don’t come with a spare.

Some trims of the Jeep Cherokee, Jeep Renegade and Jeep Compass don’t have spares. Although they may not come as standard, the good news is you have the option of including a spare.

After all, what’s an off-road trip without a spare tire?

Do Mercedes Cars Come With Spare Tires?

Mercedes-Benz is an all rounder with tires. Some major models don’t come standard with spare tires.

However, you can get anything standard in a Mercedes, including spare tires, run-flats or the Mercedes tire fit kit. You’d find all options if you browse the several Mercedes-Benz models.

Models without spares include the Mercedes-Benz B-class, C-class, E-class and S-class. The C-class would usually have run-flats.

Do Subarus Come With Spare Tires?

Subarus come with spare tires. The Subaru brand isn’t exactly enthusiastic about run-flats and self-sealing tires. In fact, the Subaru Outback may even have a full-sized spare tire.

As far as we can tell, they don’t come standard with run-flats either.

It seems you’re stuck with full-sized or donut tires. They are still as effective as ever.

Do Teslas Come With Spare Tires?

Teslas do not come with spare tires. This comes as no surprise from a brand that has a front trunk.

You can buy and use the tire inflator and sealant in case you have a flat. Roadside Assistance is also usually available for the first 50,000 miles.

Do Volvos Come With Spare Tires?

Some of them do. The Volvo V60, for example, comes with a temporary spare.

Quite a good number of Volvos on the market still have spares. The ones that don’t, make use of the Volvo tire sealing system.

This can seal punctures or re-inflate the tire when its pressure drops.

In conclusion, every car brand would probably have a few models that come with spares. However, their numbers diminish by the day.

Related: What Tires Are On My Car? (Super-Easy Guide)

Do Electric Cars Come With a Spare Tire?

This is an interesting question and something that has caused some debate.

We wrote a separate article about whether electric cars come with a spare tire.

Can You Ask the Car Retailer to Include a Spare Tire?

Most automakers include this option. There are many drivers who still prefer regular spare tires despite the trend.

In case a total blowout occurs, you’d need a spare. Also, two tires getting punctured at a time would pose a tricky situation. You’d need a spare and a repair kit to keep moving.

However, the probability of occurrence is quite rare these days, given the quality of tires. Unless an angry neighbor filled your driveway with nails, it’s probably not going to happen.

With Kia dealers, you often have the option of a spare tire. It would also include a car jack and other replacement tools.

Not all cars even come with tire changing tools!

You should know that adding a spare tire might mean you won’t get the expected fuel economy promised by automakers.

Ford also includes the option for a spare besides their tire mobility kit. You can ask the dealer to include it for a fee.

Tesla can also give you a spare tire as an option, but we can guarantee you it’ll be very expensive.

How Much Does a Spare Tire Cost?

This depends on the brand, type and quality.

A full-sized spare would cost just as much as your regular tire because that’s what it is.

Spare tires (including donuts) usually cost from $50 to $250. However, pay little attention to the range, you usually shouldn’t spend more than $150 on a spare. A little secret is that it may be cheaper when you buy it online.

Also, know that temporary spares don’t just fit into any vehicle. Regardless of how small they all look, larger vehicles use larger donuts.

Related: Can You Retread Car Tires? (Explained)

Is It Legal to Sell a Car Without a Spare Tire?

Well, if automobile companies are selling cars without spares, it must be legal. Besides, it’s not illegal to drive without a spare tire.

At the time of this writing, it is legal for carmakers to sell you a car without a spare.

However, as we’ve seen, they usually compensate for the absence of spares with some other technology or Roadside Assistance.

As for you selling your used car, there’s no point if the law requires you to add a spare. This is especially when the automakers didn’t.

You can sell your car without a spare, however, make sure you tell the buyer all there is to know. It’s only right.

Final Thoughts

Full-sized spares also came with their own baggage. Other than the weight, you still have to rotate them constantly with the other tires to maintain uniform wearing.

This is because you’d have to discard the spare when it expires, even if you’ve never used it.

However, a major advantage is that it’ll cause all your tires to last longer because of the tire rotation.

There’s no perfect solution to flat tires. That’s why it’s best you have all the information before choosing the right option for yourself. However, run-flat tires, save for the expenses, may have the best advantages.

Sources

Spare Tires in New Cars: What You Need to Know | Edmunds

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