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Do you have a spare tire? AAA says 28% of new vehicles don't

Posted: 11:33 AM, Nov 10, 2017
Updated: 2017-11-10 17:35:06Z

If you're always two steps ahead you're never truly stuck. Having roadside assistance and a spare tire are a given. But what if your car doesn't have a spare?

AAA's research found nearly 28% of 2017 model year vehicles didn't have a spare. Regardless if the 2017 were luxury, new, or used, they weren't equipped. Car buyer Julie Vandermause isn't thrilled to hear this news and says this'll affect the types of cars she buys in the future. 

"I can't believe they wouldn't have a spare tire. Hello," says Vandermause. "No...it's a safety issue to me. It's a safety issue."  

AAA learned the reason automakers are opting to leave the doughnut out is for improved customer satisfaction. By removing the fifth wheel makers like, Ford, Jeep, Chevy, Toyota are able to give owners more room, improved fuel economy, less weight and spend less.  

Russ Darrow Toyota 's general manager, Danny Shutts, has worked in the industry for 30 years and says not having the tire isn't the end of the world. 

"In reality you know you really don't want to be on the side of the freeway...at 18 degrees changing a spare," says Shutts.

Vandermause agrees  the improvements without the spare are great. But she says customers don't want to worry about their missing tire. 

"It shouldn't be a question that they have to ask. It should  be there. The spare tire should be there," says Vandermause.

AAA's data shows nearly 20% of US drivers don't know how to change a tire. Vandermause is among those drivers, but says she still wants roadside assistance to be able to use her spare. 

Shutts says spares take up too much space and it's  why many all-wheel-drive vehicles typically aren't equipped with them. To make sure customers aren't left in the lurch, manufactures will offer some type of roadside assistance or emergency kits instead.  

AAA and Shutts encourage every customer to ask question, check stickers, and do your homework. Going to the car lot with information in hand is the best way to get what you want.