The RAC is countering the surge in popularity amongst manufacturers for fitting emergency tyre inflation kits instead of spare wheels by introducing a 'universal' spare wheel.
The motoring organisation says it is in response to call outs for unfixable punctures.
According to the RAC, in the 12 months up to August 2012, it responded to 87,000 breakdowns involving a puncture on a vehicle with no spare, and in the 12 months ending in August 2013 this increased to approximately 120,000.
RAC patrols will fit the wheel and liaise with the nearest ATS Euromaster centre on their behalf to find out what replacements are available.
Developed with Dynomec working in partnership with tyre expert ATS Euromaster, the five-stud, 17-inch lightweight alloy multi-fit wheel fits a high proportion of vehicles and will "significantly cut down the time spent by members at the roadside". Trials are taking place in south west England and Northern Ireland with some 200 patrols carrying the new wheel.
Head of RAC technical operations Phil Ryan said: ““We understand why motor manufacturers need to reduce the weight of their vehicles in order to make them more fuel efficient and to meet EU carbon dioxide emissions targets and removal of the spare wheel helps them to achieve this.
“But drivers should not suffer as a result, and in order to minimise the disruption and inconvenience that punctures can cause, the universal spare wheel provides additional options for patrols to deal with breakdowns more quickly and effectively. We are already seeing very positive results from the trials and we expect the universal wheel to become an increasingly common sight on our roads.”