Over four in five drivers say they would prefer to have a spare wheel in their boot rather than a tyre inflation kit, a survey of 11,959 AA members revealed.

However, a recent study exposed that only 3 per cent of new vehicles sold in British showrooms today have a spare as standard. Here's the reason why...

With pothole-related incidents on Britain’s roads at a five-year high, the case for having a spare wheel in the boot of your car has rarely been stronger, the AA says.

Last year, pothole-related damage accounted for almost half a billion pounds in vehicle repair bills, with a large portion of that spend going on tyres.

But the motoring group warns that many drivers are blissfully unaware that their car doesn't have a spare wheel tucked away under the boot floor.

According to the survey, one in five (20 per cent) of 18-to-24-year-olds wouldn’t think to check if the car they were buying had a spare. 

Often, many only realise they don't have either a full-size or space-saver spare in the back when they get a puncture and want to get back on the road again.

Instead, almost all new cars on sale in showrooms today come as standard with a puncture inflation kit - usually consisting of a can of sealant to pump into the tyre and a small compressor to blow it back up.

A study conducted by the RAC in November found that fewer than 3 per cent of new models now have a spare in the boot.

It reviewed 313 new cars on sale - ranging from the smallest superminis to the largest 4X4s - and found that only eight (2.6 per cent) come factory-fitted with a back-up wheel in the back.

The breakdown assistance provider said last year that this lack if spare wheels is causing a 'dramatic' rise in the number of incidents where drivers need help in the event of an unrepairable flat tyre.

RAC patrols went out to nearly 200,000 callouts in 2022 where drivers had a puncture and no spare wheel, up from 165,000 in 2018, it said.

The RAC study also found that it is predominantly larger, heaver-duty vehicles that come with a spare wheel, meaning the vast majority of family-friendly cars won't have them as standard.

The only car models identified as having a spare wheel as standard were the Fiat Tipo, Ford Focus (selected variants), Hyundai Sante Fe (PHEV), Land Rover Defender, Seat Ateca (selected variants), Suzuki Across, Volvo XC90 (not PHEV) and Toyota Land Cruiser.

Many manufacturers have stopped including them as standard to reduce the weight of their cars by up to 20kg.

This makes the vehicles more fuel efficient but also helps car makers to meet tougher emissions legislation.

Tyre repair kits are also far cheaper to offer as standard equipment in cars, meaning manufacturers can save money on each model they sell by not offering it with a spare in the boot or under the chassis.

The RAC said spare wheels are set to shift from an endangered species to the extinct list because of the arrival of electric vehicles.

In many cases, their large battery packs take up the space where a spare would traditionally be installed, meaning ergonomically there isn't room to have one.