Huge choice means fast-fit centres can't stock enough tyres

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Factory Orders

A mushrooming choice of tyres, tyre sizes and formats means that so-called 'fast-fit' centres can't carry enough stock to cater for an increasing number of customers in need of new rubber.

Only a mere 40 per cent of drivers heading to fast-fit centres manage to have tyres fitted on their first trip, research by e-commerce company epyx has found. Tyres may be one of the last things that motorists think about when driving their car, but tyre technology has advanced hugely in recent years, with the advent of run-flat tyres, self-sealing tyres that can heal punctures and the rise of winter tyres and all season rubber.

Add in the growing popularity of off-roaders wearing large, higher profile tyres and ever more powerful performance cars wearing wide, low profile rubber and the time needed for fast fit centres to source tyres has doubled over the last decade.

epyx's head of business development told Motoring Research: "It would be nearly impossible for a fast-fit centre to carry all the stock needed to cover the majority of the current car parc, such is the diversity of size and manufacturer."

Making things more complicated, is the fact that a number of manufacturers now use tyres designed specifically for their models, which are labeled accordingly. Consequently, franchised car dealers could become the natural destination for drivers searching for new tyres, Goodyear adds: "If they choose to carry a reasonable selection of stock, then they should be able to comfortably beat the first-time-fit figures being achieved by fast-fits."