As green vehicles slowly take over from mainstream vehicles, Automakers are eliminating spare tires. For example, you won’t find a spare tire in the Honda CR-V Hybrid, though Honda felt a spare was important for all of the other trims of that vehicle. Nor will you find a spare tire in a Ford Mustang Mach-E, yet, every F-150 has one. A company called Modern Spare is filling in the gap in safety and convenience your automaker has left.
Modern Spare was started nearly five years ago by a Corvette owner and club member. He realized that modern Corvettes had no spare tire and that the owners who went on long tours on weekends far from home, could be in a pickle if they damaged a tire. Since the 'Vette has always used cutting-edge, large-diameter, low-profile tires, finding an in-stock replacement locally was never really an option for these owners. Making matters worse, when a group of owners held an event and traveled together, one flat could ruin the day for all the members.
From this inspiration, a company was born. Modern Spare now offers spare tire kits for over 100 models. The kits generally cost between $300 and $350, and they come with all of the things your automaker stole from you. A spare tire, the tools and jack, and other small bits needed to replace your damaged tire when on the go are included. The kits also have a nifty carrying case to keep it all neat. Kits for some models even have the retaining hardware to hold it in place in your vehicle’s spare tire well under the cargo floor. To make the kit lighter than a typical automaker's spare, Modern Spare uses an aluminum alloy rim.
We spoke with Modern Spare, who told us that Tesla owners have become one of the company’s regular buyers. The representative we spoke with pointed out that Tesla owners tend to be vehicle owners that plan ahead. They are conditioned to plan for charging, and the Tesla infotainment system is all about plotting out the steps to come on a road trip. Since no Tesla vehicle comes with a spare, and since the Tesla forums are packed with owners complaining about having to be towed when they get a flat, the word spread quickly in the Tesla community that Modern Spare can be the solution to the problem Tesla created when it omitted the spare tire in their vehicles.
Other key customer groups include European brands like Mercedes and BMW. Many owners of these vehicles despise the run-flat tires that their vehicles come with and swap them out for conventional tires and a Modern Spare when the run-flats wear out. This saves significant amounts of money and the choices of tires are much larger in the non-run flat world.
Not every car has a perfect place for a spare tire. The Miata, in particular, is poorly designed to accommodate a spare tire in the small trunk. Interestingly. The all-new Corvette is also designed without a reasonable place to put a spare. To our surprise, Modern Spare says that they still get orders from owners of such vehicles. They keep the spare in their garage with the plan that if they need it, they will retrieve it or have a family member bring it, rather than risk having their special car towed.
You can learn more about Modern Spare at the company’s website. Torque News received no discounts, free products, or revenue from Modern Spare for the publication of this story.
John Goreham is a long-time New England Motor Press Association member and recovering engineer. Following his engineering program, John also completed a marketing program at Northeastern University and worked with automotive component manufacturers. In addition to Torque News, John's work has appeared in print in dozens of American newspapers and he provides reviews to many vehicle shopping sites. You can follow John on Twitter, and view his credentials at Linkedin