Puncture Repair Kits (Don’t Use) – No Spare Wheel?

Ford Focus Puncture

Most modern cars do not come with a spare tyre, or even a space saving tyre in the boot, they seem to be getting replaced with puncture repair kits. Everyone will get a puncture in their car at some point in time (if you have NEVER had a flat tyre, then please get in touch and provide me with some lotto numbers). I myself have had my fair share, and just recently had a bad puncture after hitting one of many pot holes (I sometimes wonder what I pay road tax for).

There are a couple of reasons why car manufacturers no longer provide a spare wheel:

  • Allow customers to have a bigger boot
  • Save weight (better fuel economy)
  • Save car manufacturers a little bit of money

Instead of a spare wheel, a puncture repair kit is provided, or what is known as tyre foam, and a pump. Now you may think this is great, but as I have explained previously, do NOT use these kits (only for a real emergency, where your stranded in the middle of no where, its dark and your a single female).

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Puncture Repair Kits

These come in many shapes and sizes, but the principals are the same. These feature some foam/gel sealant, and a pump, which inflates the tyre while pumping air and the sealant into the tyre, and forces it out the hole. This then has a reaction, and seals the hole to make it air tight to get you to the garage.

Puncture Repair Kits


  • Puncture repair kits allow you to quickly and easily repaired yourself at the side of the road only if you have a nail in the tread of the wheel. No mess or strength involved in jacking the car up, and removing the wheel, to replace with another wheel/space saver.


  • Unlike replacing the wheel for a spare, using puncture repair kits are NOT a permanent fix, and your tyre will need replacing ASAP
  • If you have a large hole in your tyre, a cut in the side wall of the tyre, or a complete blow out, this kit is completely useless – Which will mean you will have to call your recovery company and have the vehicle towed to your nearest garage
  • You will have to limit your speed, get yourself to a garage, where they will tell you that you can no longer use a “bung” to seal the hole where that nail was, and get a brand new tyre (not cheap now days)
  • You will also have to order a new bottle of tyre foam/gel/repair kit from your dealer (as this is a MOT requirement to have this in your vehicle)
  • Will cost you more overall if you have a puncture, especially just a simple nail in your tyre.

As you can see the disadvantages of using puncture repair kits outweigh the advantages.

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  1. . I was in a RTA last week when a 18Mt rigid clipped me removing my wing mirror and bending the front passenger wing. A huge 3 orner tear was put in the tyre. I had purchased an emergency 18″ spare when I looked in my boot and found instead of a spare a tube of sealant and a plug in tyre inflator. I had had six accident free years until last weeks collision. In addition to the space saver wheel I had bought a small trolley jack.On the day of purchase as a test I had jacked up a rear tire and checked the emergency wheel fitted. On the day of the real emergency to a ripped up front tire I found the jack could not be forced under the front chassis. as the ripped tire left the car only an inch off the road. In desperation I rolled up a rubber mat in the car and drove my wheel over it to create just enough room to get the jack under the chassis. i had called the AA but they could not attend for 3 hours. I am 71 now and overexerted myself getting the emergency spare on. I ache all over, 10 years ago when cars had proper jacking points this would have been a simple task for a younger fitter man. I could have had a hernia or a stroke

  2. Bought a one year old Seat Leon 6 months ago. Have had two punctures in that time and two new tyres as no spare wheel and both the Leon supplied compressor based repair kit and Holts tyreweld that I bought myself ruined the tyres according to the Garage. Holts state this shouldn’t be the case but the company they state would repair a puncture after using their kit do not have a Northern Ireland outlet.

  3. Had this issue with my 64 Reg Qashqai today. Tyre was utterly non-repairable ; called out AA ( took time as we were in non-wifi countryside); then found…. no spare tyre; had to wait hours for breakdown van; am utterly appalled- been driving for 50 years and never not had a full spare tyre ; was not given option of having one when I bought the car as new. Over those 50 years I’ve probably experienced 8 punctures , nearly all of the non-repairable variety. It is ludicrous for manufacturers to say that punctures are a rare occurrence. It’s simply a matter of luck and call outs to emergency services for punctures have increased exponentially with the advent of no full spare tyre. It is also ludicrous for these repair kits to be deemed fit for purpose, especially for bad punctures. So, well in excess of £20,000 for a new car but no spare tyre. What if it had been my wife, late at night, bad weather, and even the emergency services couldn’t fix the tyre- because there wasn’t a spare ?! There is a clear need for a concerted campaign to restore full spare tyres to all cars. I’ll be getting one asap even if it means leaving Nissan. As some US car experts are now saying: not having a spare tyre is stupid and dangerous. As for the manufacturers saying that the benefit is lower fuel consumption because of less weight, this is hogwash. The fuel savings for every 10,000 miles driven are estimated to be a derisory…. £12. !! In truth, it’s all about the manufacturers saving money. Me? I’d rather they at least gave me the option.

    1. Hi Oliver, Yes it still works, but I wouldnt recommend it for just a nail – fill the tyre and drive slowly to the nearest garage – they will thank you for not using the foam, and it will save you money as chances are they can plug it without replacing the whole tyre.

    2. Yes it does but recommend to not use it as it could prevent u getting it repaired. Leave nail in and get some air in to it to get u to garage as soon as poss,.

    3. Buy a car pump Compressor just for that occasion a lot cheaper way to possibly saving u buying a new tyre .

  4. I hit a massive pot hole in my new leased ford fiesta. Needless to say I repaired the tyre with one of those supplied kits (why do they call it a repair kit when in fact it just ruins the tyre!!!). Anyway, I have been informed that my tyre is now ruined because I was stupid enough to put in the foam (silly me again, eh?). So, the long and short of it is, I have to replace the ammonia fluid and provide a new Contintental tyre since it is a leased car. For a £10 puncture repair it is now costing me a tyre and the replacement fluid, something like £150. Thank you very much car manufacturers. Who are these people who design such things – are they even of this planet.

  5. I am raging about this, have just had to buy a new tyre costing £160 on a car that is only 2 months old, didn’t no I didn’t have a spare tyre. win win for garages if you haven’t a clue what your doing with it , as I clearly didn’t.

    1. Go to national tyres for for better price and ask about tyre guarantee well worth 7.50 per wheel and u will always get ur puncture repaired free of charge for life of tyre if repairable but not u if not you get a good discount on new tyre.

  6. Spot on! I had a side wall rupture as the screw that went through the tread then proceeded to go sideways. The repair jollop was worse than useless as it sprayed out over my trousers and feet and I began to smell like a public urinal. I presume that the carrier liquid is Ammonia based – no health warning about that. Luckily close to home, so I made it back by driving on an already wrecked tyre. I will now buy a spare tyre/wheel combo and replacement cartridge for when I resell the C3 Picasso and my partner had to drive me (plus punctured tyre) to Kwik-Fit. Really great for the environment. Insist on a spare!

  7. my daughter got citroen ds3 the check list stated it had a spare tyre.i admit we didnt look to see if ther was one.but igot her awheel/tyre /jack from breakers yard total 54 pounds. hoew much does compressor and foam cost ?seems customers opinion doesnt matter .maybe tyre makers are hand in glove with car makers

  8. It’s huge problem these days. I was lucky – my Seat Mii came with full-size spare wheel, despite the fact brochure says that even a “space-saver” is an accessory that comes at extra cost.
    My uncle however is not that lucky. He has 2009 Ford Galaxy that only has gel-kit. There’s simply no space anywhere in the vehicle for a spare wheel. I do understand that Ford engineers sacrificed spare wheel for some space arrangement possibilities but there was supposed to be different solution!
    And I know that my uncle already had to pay €70 to get someone to fix his tyre when he was on holiday in France.

  9. I totally agree with Glen. Car manufacturers are just making more money with the stupid space savers and puncture repair kits they provide – they wreck your tyres and in most cases they don’t work. The space savers are limited for a certain speed and have a life of only 50 miles.
    We all should insist on full spare wheels fitted on a new cars – I would not a consider buying a new car without one.

  10. I think we should start a petition forcing car companies to provide a spare wheel as standard. I have just had a flat tyre on my new Seat Toca. When the green flag man came and he looked under the carpet in the boot he said where is your tyre? I bought the car in July from new and I did not know there was no spare wheel! The engineer said he would not put the foam in as it would wreck my tyre and it doesn’t work -his words not mine. It turned out to be a slow puncture so he had to follow me to a tyre place in case it went down quickly. The t yre man said exactly the same ie the foam wrecks your tyre and also doesn’t work for all flats. The engineer also told me I had no jack. What would have happened if I had broken down late at Night? What if my tyrehad been completely flat! It scares me as I drive in my job and am not into fixing cars or even know anything about them! I shall take the matter up with SEAT.

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