Puncture equals panic for many drivers. Finding yourself on a country road or, worse, on a busy city one, with a puncture is a nightmare if you don't know how to change a wheel. It's a job every new driver once had to learn, but as tyre technology and roads improved. it is one of those old-fashioned skills we did'nt think we needed anymore.Or so we thought.

Now the AA in the UK reports that tyre problems have pushed battery problems as the main reason for call-outs into second place and the AA here says the situation is very similiar. 

MicksGarage.com has some very good instructional videos and this one on changing a wheel is one of the best we've seen.

If you're lucky enough to be a member of the AA or another roadside assist programme (some insurance companies offer cover as part of your policy), all a flat wheel will cost you is time and patience. If you're not covered then you could end up paying for a very costly call-out on the side of the road.

Changing a wheel is a pretty straightforward job and it is worth knowing how to do it. A critical thing to do 'though is check exactly what is in your boot before it happens. If you have no spare wheel at all,  If you have lost the lock nut for alloy wheels (it is a separate one that help prevent the wheels being stolen and should be kept separately and safely), if you have a space saver wheel (about one third of new cars don't have a full spare wheel anymore and there is a maximum speed you can drive on a space-saver ) or if you have a foam kit you don't know how to use,  then you're stranded until help arrives. 

The AA and the RAC have both developed multi-fit spare wheels that can be fitted to 90 per cent of cars in an emergency. It makes sense not to wait for one to happen though..