Here at Carlease UK, two things stand out as the most frequently asked questions about new lease cars…
Where are my mats?
Much as we agree with customers about carpet mats, modern high quality mats are another example of how manufacturers have done everything that they can to keep costs down, simplify the delivery system and most importantly, fight to keep weight down.
Saving the 2kg of a set of mats would take months of engineering investment and expensive metals to achieve.
What, no spare wheel?
Another modern trend is to replace spare wheels with a compact spare or a repair kit and compressor. In the case of many new BMW models, the standard fitment of run-flat tyres.
Tyre Repair Gels
The most common solution is a repair gel that is injected via the tyre valve and then the tyre is reinflated. Only useful for minor repairs and limited to 50 mph, this repair is not well understood. The gel needs to get to the puncture, so that it solidifies as it meets fresh air and forms a temporary bung. This requires the damage to be at the bottom or the tyre to be rotated, so jacked off the ground.
Tyres, unlike a few years ago, can now be cleaned and repaired after using a modern temporary repair kits/ gels.
Here we see how VW recommends using its tyre repair system…
Cars with Run-flat tyres
Loved by BMW, Run-Flat-Tyres are expensive and cannot always be repaired. Sometimes loathed by customers due to their hard side walls meaning a harsher ride. Run flats are though easier to use, safer and very convenient.
Blame Europe, blame the Government…
In the first place, car tyres have suffered ever less punctures over the years as manufacturers have incorporated super-strong strands into the rubber and the treads have got slightly deeper.
Other savings by manufacturers here include costs… But by using tyre repair kits/ run flats the amount of available boot space has seen a sizeable increase.
Welding a wheel-well into a boot space requires a specialist process that has to be strong and therefore heavy.
The much lighter ‘space saver’ spare wheel well is easier to accommodate in modern lease cars. Latterly, the weight saving targets for emissions reduction set by Europe (with targets increased each year by the government,) have taken on more importance in recent times, with fractional gains being hard won. The space saver has therefore given way to repair gels in many new lease cars.