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I understand that a Warrant of Fitness cannot be issued to a car with a space saver spare wheel fitted at the time of the inspection.

If this is the case could someone driving a car with a space-saver fitted and involved in an accident, be legally held responsible even if they were not at fault?

I’m talking about the legal situation and not necessarily how an insurance company would consider the situation.


From the "Ask Jack" archives - 29 October, 2010


The reason a car cannot be passed for a WoF with a space-saver fitted is because tyres on the same axle must be of the same size designation and construction and of the same tread pattern type at the time of the inspection.

Obviously having a space saver fitted would mean an instant rejection. A car must be presented for a warrant as if it was going to be driven on the road on a permanent basis.

Space-saver wheels are for emergency use only and are not designed to be used over long distances. If you get a flat tyre and replace a wheel with a space-saver wheel, you should only use it to get directly home or to a place where the flat tyre can be repaired or replaced.

Space-saver wheels must also have a safety label that states the tyre is for temporary use only, what the maximum safe speed is for the tyre and what the correct pressure is.

Provided those conditions are being met I can’t see any issues if the car was involved in an accident.

If it could be proven that the space saver had been used inappropriately (fitted to the vehicle for longer than it needed to be, the pressure was incorrect or the recommended vehicle speed was exceeded) then it may change things considerably.