Britain’s biggest tyre retailers are stockpiling winter tyres ahead of the big freeze.
Deliveries of specialist winter tyres in October were nearly 400 per cent up on the same month last year – meaning a record monthly total for the UK.
Record stocks of the tyres are being built up as retailers anticipate a surge in demand in the next few weeks from drivers determined to keep on the move.
David White, Customer Services Director for Kwik Fit, Britain’s biggest tyre retailer, said: ”Motorists remember last winter and have quickly grasped the benefits of fitting winter tyres.
”We have sold thousands more winter tyres compared to this time last year.”
More than three million motorists hit problems last winter, with the bill for repairs reaching nearly a BILLION pounds, without allowing for lost production and time off work.
According to forecasters Britain is set for a repeat of last winter’s weather conditions, which proved to be the coldest for 31 years.
This year, drivers looking to increase their safety on the roads in icy and wet conditions, are expected to invest in winter tyres due to increased awareness.
Tim Bailey, safety expert at Continental, said: ”There is an increasing awareness about winter tyres with UK drivers, as people realise that standard tyres are not designed to be used in colder temperatures and are not as effective.
”In many European countries, it is a legal requirement to fit winter tyres between October and April.
”However, until recently, there has been very little knowledge and guidance about it in this country. Working with tyre retailers we are trying to change that.
“Winter tyres are not just for snow and ice – whenever the temperature dips below 7 degrees centigrade, winter tyres are more effective.
”The key is to get them on your car before the really bad weather comes, you’ll see the benefits as soon as the temperature drops below 7°C and you won’t be caught out when the snow and ice means others can’t get off their driveways.”
The biggest tyre distribution centre in the UK is at Tyrefort in Birmingham where over a million tyres are housed. In recent weeks they have shipped tens of thousands of specialist winter tyres to tyre dealers around the country.