On consumer advocate Chris Elliott’s blog, Dollar Rent A Car customer Joe Gershman asks if it’s legal for car rental companies to rent a vehicle without a spare tire. Elliott’s findings revealed that it is legal for rental car companies to rent a vehicle without a spare, at least in the state of South Carolina.

During his contract period, Gershman realized after calling AAA that his rental from Dollar didn’t have a spare. Elliott first advises Gershman that he should’ve first contacted the rental company — not AAA.

Gershman contends that Dollar should have disclosed that there was no spare in the vehicle, and that he should be reimbursed for the “one day” he was without a car. Elliott notes that after making phone calls to Dollar, Gershman contacted the company on the evening of April 4 and was given a replacement vehicle by 1 p.m. the following day.

To read the full blog from Elliott and comments from Gershman, click on the URL: http://www.elliott.org/blog/no-spare-tire-in-my-car-rental-do-i-deserve-a-credit/

Manufacturers are turning to alternatives to spare tires in an effort to curb vehicle weight. More than 14% of 2011 models, for example, were equipped with a tire sealant and inflator kit instead, according to AAA. You can read more from Business Fleet magazine about this manufacturer change and view a list of late-model vehicles not equipped with a spare.