Unaware of lack of spare tire. Feel betrayed by the sales team, who I think should have made it obvious that a spare tire is not provided.
Another thing to worry about, along with the range anxiety.
How are other owners coping with this issue?

J.T. | January 1, 2014

There are a ton of threads on this topic. I stand in the minority and have purchased a rim from Tesla and a tire from my local shop. Total cost $487.00. I belong to AAA so I have not purchased a jack, breaker bar or torque wrench. The tire fits in the frunk slightly tilted and I only carry it if I'm going out of the NY metro area.

flodrab | January 1, 2014

my sales rep didn't mention it to me either before I placed my order, but I think "betrayed" is a bit harsh ... fortunately I had read the entire Order page quite thoroughly, which has the line: "Model S does not come with a spare wheel and tire." in it, before ordering and was aware of the situation ... but actually this is becoming a lot more common in the industry, and there are quite a few autos now that no longer have a spare ... as to how I'm coping, I'm uneasy about it ... I'd really like to have a spare and am looking into options for carrying a "donut" in the frunk ... but best solution, IMO, would be run-flat tires

hcwhy | January 1, 2014

@jtodtman....Is there room for much else in the frunk when you've got the spare in there, or does it pretty well take up the whole space?

J.T. | January 1, 2014

There's space in the "microwave", but that's about it.

hcwhy | January 1, 2014

OK Thanks

redacted | January 1, 2014

If you feel betrayed not having a spare, I can't imagine what you'd think if they're raised the prices/changed the packages just before you finalized your order.

DallasTXModelS | January 1, 2014

Do you live under a rock? It's on the website on the specs page and where it says "the 21" tires are more easily damaged than the 19" tires and the Model S does not come with a spare tire."

Where did you a sales person? I bought my Model S on the website?

hideiba | January 2, 2014

Many high performance cars do not come with spare tires. My last one didn't have one either. so I wasn't told before the final delivery walk around but I didn't feel betrayed. I carry 12V pumps in all my cars and had to use it twice already since I've had two flat tires (near flat because the warning messages). I bought my Tesla in July 2013. No big deal…

Yohman | January 2, 2014

I carry a can of Fix-a-Flat, which you spray into the air valve. It is supposed to seal the inside of the tire to get you to a service station. Although I have never actually used it yet.

carolinagobo | January 2, 2014

Don't buy a Porsche you'll be betrayed.

togliat | January 2, 2014

My BMW M3 had no spare, but did have run flats and an air compressor in the trunk.
The Model S comes with neither, but you can at least buy the Tesla compressor with their foam, and a tire plug kit. I also read somewhere that regular fix-a-flat brand might damage the psi sensors...versus buying the Tesla brand.

eddiemoy | January 2, 2014

it doesn't come with gas or an engine. do you feel betrayed?

think the feeling is it is dangerous to change your own tire at the side of a highway and most people who buy luxury cars are not going to change their own tire.

i had two flat tires driving my old GTI from hitting pot holes. yes i felt a little uneasy when i found out that it doesn't come with a spare, but it comes with road side assistance so you are not entirely left out in the cold.

silenus136 | January 2, 2014

Really disheartened by the smarmy to even nasty responses to the OP's use of the word "betrayed." Shouldn't all of us who are rooting for Tesla's success want to HELP bring into the fold folks who are not "car people," and who are unfamiliar with the unfamiliar? Yeah, several cars come without a spare, but most are performance, vintage or otherwise exotic. Yeah, the website and literature mention the "lack" of a spare. But the OP says he or she is the type that relies on a salesperson, which in itself is a little old school relative to the Tesla model, and suggests this is probably a more typical car buyer, not an enthusiast (OP, my apologies if I've MIS-characterized you based on little info). In other words, the exact type of general car buyer Tesla supporters should want to be jumping into the pool with us. To those who snark, I'd say it would be better to reassure the OP that the lack of a spare is no big deal.
Now, flame away crazed discussion board snarkmeisters!

Mathew98 | January 2, 2014

One of the my tires caught a nail with a slow leak. I just inflated the tire to the proper PSI and brought to the local service center a few days later. I had to re-inflate the tire every day until I had time to drop by the SC to fix the flat for free.

Unless you go on a long trip, a spare is a bit of any over kill. You will still need AAA to change the tire and use the proper torque to fasten the lugnuts. There's really not much a driver can do on the side of the road by himself/herself (unless you're a mechanic with all the tools).

J.T. | January 2, 2014

@silenus136 +1

You are absolutely right that from this time going forward more and more potential buyers would not have researched the car to the point most of us did.

As I said in a post months ago, if you get a flat and miss your wife's sister's wedding because of it, telling her that BMW doesn't come with a spare either is not going to help.

A frequent poster, SCCRENDO, was of a mind not to worry about a spare until he had two flats in a month. Now he carries one. It's a personal decision. As for me, I was sold on the idea that the MS is a thinking person's car. You need to have a plan. Getting stuck on a highway without a spare is not a very good plan.

PaceyWhitter | January 2, 2014


I agree that people don't need to be nasty to the OP, but he is expecting a little much from the Tesla salesperson. He is not complaining that the salesperson gave him bad information and told him there was a spare, he is complaining that the salesperson did not read his mind, know that the lack of a spare would be an issue for him, and then proactively bring it up himself.

That is a pretty high standard when you are throwing around words like "betrayed."

silenus136 | January 2, 2014

PaceyWhitter - I don't disagree with you that the OP's expectations are high and I was not defending the use of the super-strong, litigation-implying word "betrayed. Didn't mean to imply either. All I meant to say was that this kind of expectation of service and over-reaction are typical of consumers today in our entitled, lawsuit-crazed society, and as the Tesla customer base expands, it will look more and more like that society. No chance we will "change" things so everyone is as diligent as those on these boards in knowing the product, and I really, really want Tesla to be a huge success (LOVE my P85), so my reaction to comments like the OP's is to lower the temperature and engage positively, even though I am not sympathetic to the position or the choice of words.

DallasTXModelS | January 2, 2014


The Toyota RAV4 dumped the spare and brags about not having the spare in all of their tv commercials.

AmpedRealtor | January 2, 2014

You reap what you sow. OP used some inflammatory and accusatory language while accepting no personal responsibility...

"Unaware of lack of spare tire." If a particular feature is a material concern for you, the buyer, wouldn't it be your responsibility to investigate whether that feature is available? And if not, how would Tesla know what is or is not a concern for you?

"Feel betrayed by the sales team, who I think should have made it obvious that a spare tire is not provided." Did they also make obvious for you the lack of grab handles, door pockets, rear seat cup holders, independent rear seat climate control, pano roof shade, lighted vanity mirrors, CD player, LTE... am I forgetting anything?

"Another thing to worry about, along with the range anxiety." This line smells trolly. How does range anxiety become part of a discussion about Tesla not disclosing the lack of a spare?

"How are other owners coping with this issue?" I have a call in to my therapist.

David Trushin | January 2, 2014

I don't think troll can be made into an adverb. Making it a verb is a stretch.

At the risk of getting a flat tomorrow, I have once used a spare tire. But the car was in my garage and I called someone to change it. Probably could have just filled the tire and driven to have it fixed, but I didn't have a compressor.

PaceyWhitter | January 2, 2014

I do find it interesting that these spare tire complaints often come up in this forum. One would think that many Tesla buyers would have come from cars that also did not have a spare.

One group of buyers liked the Tesla for it's environmental benefits, but most high mileage cars forgo a spare (to lose the weight). Plug in Prius, Volt, Leaf etc. all lack a spare.

Another group like the Tesla for its performance, but performance sedans have often also dropped the spare (for weight and weight distribution), Porsche, BMW etc.

I guess that goes to show that the Tesla has a broad appeal.

tezzla.SoCal | January 2, 2014
dborn | January 2, 2014

Lack of a spare in Australia would indeed be an issue. Our country is physically the same size as the USA but far more sparsely populated. Small towns are few and far between, and assistance of tire repair shops can be very restricted such as over weekends and holidays of which we have many. Towing companies in rural areas are few and far between, and flat beds not at all common metropolitan or rural. As to motoring organizations comparable to AAA, WHEN available, you can often wait many hours for assistance to come, so not very practical. Personally I have used the spare on both our cars probably 4 or 5 times in the last 3 years alone - lousy roads filled with screws and nails.
While I am not certain, I think our design rules calls for a spare of sort be provided on all vehicles. Even a donut spare will get you out of trouble. One of the rules which actually makes a lot of sense. Tesla may therefore be forced to provide a spare of some sort for this market, when and if they FINALLY get here!!!

Mathew98 | January 2, 2014

@dborn - Just follow @jtodtman foot step in procuring a full size 19" wheel and tire and put it in the frunk when the MS debut in AU in 2000-never...

Patience is the final lesson.

Low CG | January 2, 2014

I certainly didn't feel betrayed when I realized my MS didn't have a spare. And after an experience with my wife's Escalade, I don't think I'm missing anything. That beast had a flat while she was driving it 10 miles from me. I hurried over there thinking I could easily put the spare on and get her on her way before we had to call anyone (she knew better and called). TWO HOURS LATER AND DRENCHED WITH SWEAT,, I succeeded in changing it when the two truck guy arrived. He said "You changed that yourself? WOW." GM's Rube Goldbergian spare tire changing system was unbelievably difficult, complex, and exhausting. NO CHANCE my wife could have done it. I'll never attempt it again. So it's pretty much worthless.

Rocky_H | January 2, 2014

@Pacey: Wow, I didn't know that those other small models you mention didn't have spare tires either. I thought it was just the high end sports cars that were getting rid of them. This is getting frustrating. I have never owned a car that didn't at least have a donut temporary spare.

AmpedRealtor | January 2, 2014

Also, I would like to point out that Tesla 24/7 roadside assistance is available throughout your warranty period. So for at least the next four years or 50,000 miles, you can call Tesla.

MacDaddyDude | January 2, 2014

"Betrayed" is too strong of a word. The term "Sales team" doesn't really apply when ordering a Tesla...Toyota, maybe, but not Tesla. "Range anxiety" usually goes away a few days/weeks after taking delivery. Add to the above that the OP hasn't really stuck around to make comment, explain, defend, clarify...

I am left with the impression that we may not have a fully sincere customer looking to make an informed decision.

Still, the snarky harshness of some of the replies is not necessary. As Tesla expands its reach (as we all hope it does), we will have to be the welcoming committee.

We will need to set a better tone if we are ever to realize a better future.

eddiemoy | January 2, 2014

the OP could have just as easily said "oh, i didn't realize the spare was not included in the car, how does everyone else deal with this omission?"

but OP doesn't, he/she talks smack, so he/she gets smack!

AmpedRealtor | January 2, 2014

+1 eddiemoy

If you want to uncover a poster's motivation, pay close attention to where and how they editorialize.

Sweetride | January 2, 2014

My recollection is the 2014 Mercedes S550 has no spare either. The move to spare-less cars surprised me too but it does seem to be the trend.

robert | January 2, 2014

Please, what is a "run flat"? One of those "bicycle wheels"?

Bighorn | January 2, 2014

A run flat looks like a normal tire. It can be driven a limited distance without adequate pressure. It has a stiffer sidewall that better supports the car and maintains contact between the bead and rim to better maintain residual air pressure.

J.T. | January 2, 2014

@Robert To add to Bighorn. You can ride on run flats after an incident for some time without ruining the rim.

Mark E | January 2, 2014

dborn: I agree that here in Oz a spare on a long trip is very desirable, but the service from the NRMA for me has been great unless there is some other drama happening. I've never used them for a flat but my wife has - about 20 mins.

Both of our current cars - Porsche & BMW, have space saver type spares - just enough to get out of trouble. In fact they both have different sized tyres front to rear...

Colleagues newer BMWs have run flats and no spare, so it's not mandated.

dpawson | January 2, 2014

I never would have realized that the Model S has no spare, but late in my decision making process, I asked other owners I knew if they had anything they'd learned that they wished they knew during their decision making process. One of them mentioned it. I wasn't angry at my dealer for not saying anything about it, but I did think it noteworthy. It would have been nice if he'd said something, but I didn't feel betrayed...

It makes me uneasy, but not enough to stop me from confirming my order earlier today. A few posters here said things along the lines of, "There really is no point since you wouldn't want to change it yourself anyway." But for me there is a big difference between, "Hey AAA (or Tesla Roadside), please take that tire out of my trunk and put it on my car." vs. "Hey AAA (or Tesla Roadside), please tow me to a shop so I can wait for another tire to put on my car." I guess I'm thinking I'll do without a spare, and see how I feel after the first time I get a flat heh... I do know that I wasn't terribly inclined to get the 21" tires, but definitely wasn't going to do so once I learned of this dilemma. Bigger lower profile tires are more prone to flats; I don't need that headache.

frankviaje | January 2, 2014


The current RAV4 does come with a spare; it just isn't on the bumper any more. Look under the floorboard of the next one you examine.
Back to the thread: I was a little disconcerted to learn, before I purchased the car, that it had no spare. But, I have been driving many years and had only one flat. Tesla has a team of rangers which will come anywhere to help you out, but you will pay.

DonS | January 2, 2014

In 35 years of driving across my whole extended family, every flat on the road has been a screw or nail that actually caused a slow leak rather than a sudden flat. By adding some air, it has always been possible to get to the destination or to a service station. That is about 50 tires in that time, so I am not particularly worried about Tesla's lack of a spare.

Note that I said "on the road" because I have lost tires during severe off-roading. Those had to be changed because they would not get me home just by adding a little air.

I believe the TPMS is a big reason a spare tire is optional. A catastrophic blowout is exceedingly rare on a properly inflated tire.

jordanrichard | January 2, 2014

Short of a blow out, a can of Fix-a-Flat will do the trick. Changing a tire on the side of the road is on ideal is you are able to jack the car up safely. Meaning the flat tire isn't on dirt or gravel.

Run flats are very stiff and that additional stiffness gets transmitted into the car. They are also more expensive.

nolancn | January 2, 2014

+1 @jtodtman
Lack of a spare tire in the S is my ONLY pet peeve. I am tired of the HATE directed at others who feel likewise. I agree that it is quite a stretch for the OP to feel BETRAYED since anyone who buys a product of this price online should do some "good old fashioned" due diligence. We own two Model S's and a spare tire is essential (You know some of us do not live in LA, NYC or other population dense areas). Also this poppycock about the torque on the lugs being too high for an average person to change the tire is ludicrous as I did so with a recently pinned comminuted clavicular fracture of my dominant arm.
I feel an option for a spare is quite reasonable for those of us who have a need. My wife and love our cars and will not purchase a vehicle from another company as long as TESLA is around. I only hope that a more integrated solution will be available in the future. I have already had 2 flats, one 275 miles from home. Needless to say I carry a spare, jack, torque wrench, light, and battery power drill to quickly remove lugs.

wbrown01 | January 2, 2014

I do what tire shops do; I plug it with a foam rubber plug soaked in rubber cement. I have a small electric pump I keep in the car. This is how I have fixed my tires for years, it is the way that all tire shops do it. So if I have all the same tools I need to fix my tires in the car, I have no worries. It would not protect against an outright blowout, but I have not had one since I left my teenage years, because I can now afford to drive on good tires. I also believe Tesla did this for only one reason and that was to not lower the range with that added weight. When I plan a cross country trip I may look into it.

DallasTXModelS | January 2, 2014


Thank you for pointing that out. I had heard three different commercials that just said "they wanted to lose the spare tire" "I just didn't like it" or something to that effect.

I had actually looked under the back of a 2013 Rav4 to see if it was hanging under the frame like many SUVs and Pickup trucks and there wasnt a spare there.

I did go to Toyota website and did find that indeed a space maker spare (no longer a fullsized spare and matching wheel is hidden under a floor panel where the last row of seats has been removed.

Bonlaw | January 2, 2014

@bsp2759 - I have had 2 automobiles that did not have spares. They did have run flats which allowed the driver to travel up to 50 mikes on them when there was a loss of pressure. If you are truly concerned, I understand you can replace the OEM tires with the run flats. I would not trade the regular tires on my S for very expensive, harsh riding run flats. I cannot think of ever getting a flat in the last 30 years and I would never change a tire myself in any event and certainly not on the model S.
Get yourself the tire fix from Tesla and relax and simply enjoy the experience.

danej | January 2, 2014

I will say, it would be nice if the inflation and sealant kit were included with the car. This seems to be pretty common, but we Tesla owners must buy ours from Tesla for $50.00.




danej | January 2, 2014

If you do decide you want to keep a spare on board, one more opportunity to give Tesla some extra money comes in the form of the "Tire Tote". $40 gets you a nice carry-case for your tire:

joer293 | January 2, 2014

This thread is hilarious, you guys crack me up.

SCCRENDO | January 3, 2014

Jtodtman is correct. Initially I criticized him for overkill with the spare. I got 2 complete flats in a month. Have the Tesla compressor and gel but could not inflate. In retrospect it requires to be jacked up to reinflate when completely flat because of the weight of the car. My first flat was 2 miles from home but needed to be towed at night so I was without my car the next day. My second flat was 40 miles from home near my office. I had a choice to let them tow it to Costa Mesa SC 60 miles away or to the nearest tire store that carried the tires 13 miles away. Damaged the sidewall so I needed a new tire. Lots of inconvenience as I couldnt convince my wife to come get me 40 miles away in heavy traffic so I got an employee to help me out. Alternative would have been an expensive cab ride in traffic. Fits at an angle in the frunk slightly deflated. Always leave it in. If I get another flat will still need to call AAA or Tesla but they can at least change the tire for me rather than having to have my car towed. Still carry the Tesla compressor and gel for the small do it yourself leaks.

SCCRENDO | January 3, 2014

Dane a couple of points. If you use the gel it costs $35 for a new gel or $50 for the whole kit. Save on the tire tote. I don't exactly hang it from the back like the Honda CRV etc. it's nicely hidden in the frunk.

Brian H | January 3, 2014

You malign AR. "trolly", if it's not an electric streetcar (noun), is definitely not an adverb. It's an adjective. An adverb would be some abomination like "trollily". >:) <;p

Jewsh | January 3, 2014

Most performance cars don't have spare tires. What's the big deal?