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RAC multi-fit spare to cut vehicle downtime

Date: 08 June 2009

Reigning BusinessCar Award-winning recovery firm RAC has supplied all its patrol vehicles with a multi-fit spare wheel in a move it claims is a first in the business. The wheel will mean patrol vehicles can move cars not fitted with a spare without needing to call out a flat-bed truck.

The RAC's research claims that over a quarter of drivers haven't replaced their spare wheel since their last puncture, while 18% have a foam puncture repair kit but no spare for if the tyre is actually damaged.

The firm claims that the wheel will halve the downtime for a punctured vehicle, as the RAC van that attends the original call will be able to recover the stricken car without needing to summon a recovery lorry. The wheel will fit on to most types of vehicle to allow it to be recovered to the nearest repair centre.

"We are seeing a growing trend of call outs from fleet drivers with a puncture or a flat tyre, but no spare wheel," said Frank Flynn, information manager for RAC. "If we cannot fix the puncture at the roadside, having no spare wheel normally means a 'full lift' recovery is required, as transporting a vehicle any other way with one tyre completely deflated, or worse, can be very problematic."

Flynn claims one large fleet operator alone has had nearly 500 call outs in just one month for this type of breakdown, emphasizing the potential scale of the problem.

"The multi-fit wheel can provide a rapid solution to fleet customers as the wheel can be temporarily replaced and the vehicle recovered immediately to the nearest tyre specialist or dealer," he said.