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Fleet drivers six times more likely to be stuck with no spare wheel

Analysis of breakdown statistics among RAC Business’s fleet customers has revealed that company car drivers are six times more likely than private car owners to be stuck with no spare wheel after getting a puncture. In 2014 12% of fleet drivers suffering a puncture were without a spare tyre, compared to only 2% of private drivers.

Last year wheel changes accounted for one in four (24%) of all RAC Business call outs and are consistently the most common reason for company car drivers needing roadside assistance.

The RAC added that the increase is almost entirely due to the fact that nine out of 10 new cars are now sold without a full-size spare tyre to reduce the weight of the vehicle and comply with EU-wide regulations on emissions. Only a quarter of manufactures provide the smaller space-saving tyre and around half simply put a puncture repair kit in the boot of new cars. As fleet drivers are more likely to drive new cars and also tend to drive increased mileage, this explains for their increased likelihood of being stuck without a spare wheel.

At the start of 2014 the RAC responded to the change by equipping all its patrols with a universal spare wheel, which can be fitted to more than 90% of car models and will allow drivers to safely reach a garage for a speedy repair. 

In a separate study by RAC Business earlier in the year, it was revealed that it costs small businesses up to £500 a day in lost revenue as a vehicle sits idle waiting for repair.

Jenny Powley, sales director corporate business, RAC Business, said: ““Delays are costly and inconvenient and, as always, we aim to help stranded drivers get on their way with a minimum of fuss. A flat tyre can be expensive as well as inconvenient for companies running even a small fleet of vehicles.” 

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.