Can you change a wheel? If you’re over 24, could you when you were younger?
A new survey has found that 54.5% of UK drivers aged 18-24 do not know how to change a wheel. The survey, by intelligentcarleasing.com, found that most of today’s young drivers don’t know how to change a wheel — echoing the results of a survey by Halfords Autocentres, last year, which found that 65% of those questioned didn’t know how.
The most common reasons cited in the intelligentcarleasing.com survey for not knowing how to change a wheel were:
- Breakdown cover is included with many insurance policies now and therefore it’s easier to know you can call them up in such incidences rather than learn how to make the change.
- Changing a wheel or tyre isn’t part of the driving test and they’ve never had a flat so there’s been no need to learn how to do it.
- More cars now have run-flat tyres which will keep the car driving in the event of a flat for a certain distance which eliminates the need to learn how to change a wheel.
Of these, the third point is definitely relevant, but the reality is that the vast majority of cars — even new models — don’t yet have run-flat tyres.
In fairness, another point is that an increasing number of cars have puncture repair kits instead of spare wheels, so knowing how to change a wheel wouldn’t be much help, anyway.
As you might expect, female young drivers were more willing to admit ignorance than their male counterparts:
- Males 18-24: Yes (57.1%); No (42.9%)
- Females 18-24: Yes (34.0%); No (66.0%)
Changing a wheel yourself isn’t always safe or convenient if you’re stuck at the side of the road, but it can be a real timesaver and is perfectly manageable for many people, as long as the correct procedure is followed. However, given that 43% of drivers admit to only checking the legality of their tyres once a year, at MOT time, I don’t think a resurgence in DIY wheel changing is likely anytime soon!