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Ron Deane ASKED THE GUIDE

Benefits of run-flat tyres?

Do you have comments to make about run-flat tyres? It seems that increasingly car manufacturers are dispensing with spare tyres, offering, at best, "space saver" tyres, or, more commonly, nothing other than a tube of sealant. We undertake longish trips quite often, and as we are both elderly, feel uneasy about the prospect of being stranded in the event of a puncture in some remote area. A friend, who's BMW suffered a flat in country Victoria, was forced to stay overnight because the nearest garage did not stock replacements.

The concept of the run-flat tyre is brilliant. They allow to keep on driving at a reduced pace to find help, you're not stranded on the roadside struggling to change a wheel, there are weight and cost savings from not having to carry a spare tyre, and fuel savings from having a lighter vehicle, and with no spare the boot space isn't compromised. Brilliant. But it's not all that it's cracked up to be in practice. Run-flats are hard riding, they are not always available when you need to buy a replacement, and they are expensive. I'm not a fan, carrying a spare isn't such a disadvantage, and you can change to the spare whenever and wherever needed and carry on your journey almost uninterrupted.

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