Kwik-Fit Fleet is launching a special winter tyre programme for the first time and simultaneously offering corporate customers a 'hotel' facility to store their summer tyres when the weather is at its severest.
The UK's largest independent fast-fit company is urging fleets to plan for winter driving conditions by arranging now for summer tyres fitted to vehicles to be removed in October/November before the snow starts to fall.
Uniquely, Kwik-Fit Fleet is offering a 'hotel' facility that sees it remove, pack, label and store each company car and van's summer tyres in its Northamptonshire National Distribution Centre for 40. In the spring, the summer tyres will be returned to each customer's centre of choice for fitment with the winter tyres removed and stored until required again.
Winter tyres, which are composed of more rubber and less silicone so they don't harden so much when it is cold, work best in temperatures under seven degrees.
Winter tyres have wider grooves which have greater grip in snow and slush and more sideways grooves to give more edges and contact with the road surface.
That translates into shorter braking distances which reduces the risk of a crash: at 20 mph a car or van equipped with winter tyres will stop 11 metres sooner on icy roads than if fitted with summer tyres; at 30 mph the braking distance on snowy roads is reduced by eight metres.
As well as improving road safety, swapping summer tyres for winter tyres designed to perform in the harshest of conditions could actually reduce fleet operating costs.
Peter Lambert, sales director for Kwik-Fit Fleet, explained: "Winter tyres last as long as summer tyres and perform better in winter conditions. Depending on vehicle mileage, winter tyres could last for two or even three winters. As, a result wear and tear suffered by summer tyres, which is increased in harsh road conditions, is reduced so postponing their replacement."
Just like summer tyres, winter tyres are rated for the maximum amount of speed and weight they should carry. Typically winter tyres have a lower speed rating than equivalent summer tyres. However, even an H-rated tyre - one of the most popular rated tyres - has a maximum speed rating of 131 mph so even in winter conditions driving performance will not be compromised.
Mr Lambert said: "Fleets wanting to fit winter tyres to their vehicles should contact Kwik-Fit Fleet now and we will arrange for the correct tyres to be delivered to their centre of choice for fitment at a pre-booked time by one of our trained technicians. A similar service is available when the weather improves and fleets want their summer tyres refitted.
"We believe that the 'hotel' facility that we are offering which enables tyres to be stored is not offered by any other supplier and once again shows that Kwik-Fit Fleet is delivering industry-leading service."
He added: "We have launched the special winter tyre programme for the first time this year because fleet demand for winter tyres has increased in the last two years due to the harsh winters we have seen. As a result, we are advising fleets to plan and book their changeover now as once the snow starts to fall it could be too late."
Fleet decision-makers can arrange their winter tyre schedule and book an appointment to have fitment carried out at their location of choice by contacting Kwik-Fit Fleet's dedicated hotline - 01698 846457.
Kwik-Fit Fleet is part of the Kwik-Fit Group, owned by PAI, a leading European private equity firm with offices in Paris, London, Madrid and Milan. Kwik-Fit operates from almost 1,800 service points across Europe and includes Kwik-Fit Netherlands and Speedy in France as well as the UK operation. The company services the requirements of almost 7.5 million motorists a year and is Europe's largest fast-fit services provider.
Kwik-Fit Fleet is Britain's largest independent fast-fit company and has sole supply or majority share contracts with almost all of the UK's top 50 largest vehicle leasing and contract hire companies. Additionally, Motability, which operates Europe's largest fleet, remains a long-term sole supply customer.
The fast-fit giant's status as the corporate sector's number one supplier for its comprehensive one-stop shop of fast-fit services is underlined by the fact that the company has won a total of 70 industry and customer awards in its 23-year history.
PAI manages and advises dedicated buyout funds, as well as the former BNP Paribas portfolio of direct investments, with an aggregate equity value of over 7 billion. PAI is characterised by its operational approach to ownership combined with industrial and sector expertise. PAI provides portfolio companies with the financial and strategic support required to pursue their development and enhance strategic value creation.