Reinventing the wheel: AA pioneering ‘universal’ spare


BROKEN: 17% of drivers do not carry spares

The AA are trialling a ‘universal’ spare wheel to allow members with a tyre malfunction to continue their journey with minimal disruption.

Almost a fifth (17%) of AA members do not carry a spare wheel, according to research, prompting the recovery company to pioneer the new technology.

The innovative wheel is the first of its kind in the UK and fits the majority of modern cars with a five-stud wheel.

With a 17inch alloy, the tyre uses 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, Head of Technical at the AA, 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 AA to improve their ability to fix cars at the roadside.

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

Image courtesy of subewi, with thanks.