Half of motorists ‘can’t change a wheel’

More than half of drivers in Britain could not change their own wheel if they got a puncture, according to research commissioned by garage chain Kwik Fit.

Among a nationally-representative sample of 2027 motorists, 36% have a spare wheel and the tools to change it but wouldn’t know how to. A further 10% carry a spare but no tools, and 6% say they have neither the equipment nor the knowledge to make a swap.

The survey also found that 3% of drivers have no kind of provision in case of a puncture, despite an estimated 8.8 million motorists suffering a flat tyre every year.

People are also unsure as to what type of spare wheel they have, or whether they have one at all. While 10% are unsure as to the type of spare they have, as many as 1.3 million drivers (4%) have no clue whether they have a spare at all.

Space-saver spare wheels are often provided in lieu of a full-size spare, saving weight, space and cost for the manufacturers, but they have strict speed and distance limitations and should not be used for high-speed motorway driving. Kwik Fit claims the research indicates a lack of understanding among the public.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “The recent trend amongst car manufacturers to offer space-saver spares or puncture repair kits instead of full-size spare tyres could be the cause of this confusion amongst motorists. It’s is worrying how many drivers don’t know what provision they have for a puncture, but it’s even more of a concern to see how many have absolutely nothing in their car to deal with a deflated tyre.

“There are clearly gaps in knowledge around how to change a tyre, and indeed many cars are missing tools. Changing a wheel is a skill that all drivers should have, and if anyone isn’t confident enough to do so they can visit their local Kwik Fit centre and the team will happily walk them through it.”

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