New cars come without spare tire? WTF?!

I had a rental car for business use this week, a 2008 Pontiac Grand Prix.

I was looking through the manual trying to find out what something meant on the information center, when I came across a section that said:

"Your new Pontiac does not come with a spare tire. Instead there is an electric air pump in the trunk which plugs into the power outlet"

I looked into the trunk and sure enough: No spare!

I’ve been driving for well over 30 years. Almost every time I’ve had a flat tire it was a case where the tire couldn’t be pumped up (punture, broken valve, etc.).
Having a pump when the tire has a hole in it is about as much value as a box of bullets and a broken gun.

It’s been 3 years since I bought a new car (also a GM) and it came with a spare tire. What the hell is the deal with this shit?:confused::eek:

Does it at least have a well for a tire? I wouldn’t be surprised of any cheapness on GM’s part, I suppose that will be something people should check better when they buy new cars. Compact spares are bad enough.

My mother (in the UK) has a Mini Cooper. It has what they call “run flat” tyres - you can drive on them when they are flat. Well, if one is flat, I doubt it would work if they were all flat.

Trouble is that they apparently can’t be repaired, only replaced. And they sure as hell are expensive.

No, it doesn’t. After posting the OP I went out and got the manual out of the glove box (I have this car until Monday). Here is the exact wording (emphasis mine):

“GXP models have no spare tire, no tire changing equipment, and no place for storing a spare or flat tire”

It appears, per the manual, that only the base model has no spare.
But so what? Back in the 80’s I had a Yugo (yes, I really did :rolleyes: ) and it had a spare tire/kit. Aren’t even the base model Grand Prixs still in the lower 20K price wise?
And they don’t even have a mini spare? Bullshit!

So complain to the rental company and vote with your dollars.

I expect this car would be illegal to drive in some jurisdictions. Where I used to drive, I was told that it was a legal requirement to have a spare tire in the car.

The manual comes from GM itself, not Enterprise.

I’m just wondering if this is going to be the trend with other makes of cars.

After reading your post I’ve been looking through my statute book (Wisconsin) and vehicle code book. Haven’t found anything yet. Not saying it’s not in there, I just haven’t found it. The vehicle code is quite thick and comprehensive, so it could be there and hard to find.

I know I’ve never written a ticket for it.

Why no spare? A couple of reasons actually.
First off pounds = gas mileage. Gas mileage sells cars. In addition due to CAFE standards car makers are doing everything possible to increase gas mileage.
Secondly some new car designs frankly don’t have any room to put a spare in even if you wanted one. On other designs you can put in a spare, but the trunk then gets pretty useless.
I know some car makers give an option of a spare or a pump at no charge when the car is purchased. Most people go with the pump so they get the larger trunk.
Lastly tires have gotten a lot better over the years. Flats are a lot less common now then they were 50+ years ago.

ETA: I doubt you will find any law against no spare. Car companies have entire departments that do nothing except read all the regulations and make sure their product meets all applicable regulations. It is damn rare they get caught with their pants down.

My Mini Cooper S (US) has no spare - no room for one, either. It comes with run flats. It is legally sold in the US.

Does the manual tell you if it has runflat tyres?

No, it has regular tires. It advises to pull off the road as soon as it’s safe.

As far as no room, that’s ridiculous. It’s a Grand Prix. Plent of room for a wheel well in the trunk.

CAFE standards. Pfft. This thing has a 3.8 V6. I’d think they’d put a smaller engine in to increase MPG before they’d remove a tire. I can’t imagine a regular size tire is so heavy it would affect mileage. A mini-spare is even lighter. That can’t be why. It’s got to be cost, which to me sounds silly too. How much are those min-spares? I can get an el-cheapo full size tire at the Fleet Farm for under $40. How much is GM saving not putting spares in this model car?

I wonder how many people bought this model without knowing how f*cked they were going to be the day they run over a piece of metal or some nails in the road.

You seriously need to call 1-888-CAR-TALK and let Tom and Ray spread the word about this crazy bullsh!t.

To paraphrase a famous quote a pound her, a pound there, after awhile you are talking about a lot of weight. Why no smaller engine? people don’t want smaller engines. They will buy cars with no spare, but they want a larger engine. The car makers still have to meet the CAFE standards, so guess what, the car goes on a diet.
As far as the forty dollars goes, do you know how to make a million dollars in the car business? You save a buck a car and build a million of them. So if you save $40 per car and you build a million of them…
I can tell you from experience that most spares on a modern car never get used. When a car comes in for its 60,000 mile service and you pull the spare out to put air in it, and the little nibs are still on the tire cause it has never been on the ground, you too might wonder if it was necessary.


Believe there are others that make the B trunk look good if you put a spare in them.

I went to check the GXP model has different sized front and rear tires. I suspect a single spare couldn’t work safely front and rear and so they went with this route. Corvettes do the same thing, although I thought they threw in a can of Fix-a-Flat.

Tires, P255/45R18 front, P225/50R18, rear

That describes me. But, like I said, I’ve been driving a long time. I’ve been in situations where I had a tire that’s been totally FUBAR. I can unload a spare/kit and change a tire a long, long, loooong time before even the quickest of auto clubs can respond.

Fuck if I’d ever buy a new car without a spare in it!

I had a 911SC, and it had different-sized tires on the front and rear. And it had a space-saver spare.

I have a full sized spare bolted on the back of my Wrangler