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Check-In, Check-Out: Top Motoring Tips For Survival This Winter

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- Kwik Fit offers winter check-in at tyre hotel -

Motorists seem to have already forgotten the lessons of last winter, according to Kwik Fit research.

Kwik Fit can reveal that a fifth of drivers (19%) do not make any checks of their car between annual MoTs, meaning that up to six million motorists could be heading into this winter completely unprepared.

A staggering 61% of motorists don’t check their brakes, 75% risk being stranded as they haven’t checked their battery, and 37% have left lights unchecked in the last year.

Perhaps most crucially, when considering the importance of grip on wet, icy or snowy roads, a third of drivers (33%) have not checked their tyres in the run up to winter.

Kwik Fit is urging drivers to carry out a winter check, or have Kwik Fit do it for free.  One of the best ways of ensuring safe driving during the winter is to switch to winter tyres.  Winter tyres aren’t studded, but have special tread patterns and are made from rubber which makes them more effective than summer tyres at temperatures lower than seven degrees, with shorter stopping distances on icy or wet roads.  At the same time as checking-out their car for winter, motorists can check-in their summer tyres to the Kwik Fit’s Tyre Hotel – a storage facility for customers fitting winter tyres

Kwik Fit has prepared the top ten tips for the UK driver this winter:

  1. Always carry a survival pack in the car, including food, drink and a blanket. This should include extra warm clothes.

  2. Ensure your phone battery is fully charged, and you have an in-car charger. Your phone could be your only safe contact for recovery.

  3. Carry a shovel – in case you need to dig yourself out of trouble 

  4. Consider fitting winter tyres, but even if you don’t, have your summer tyres checked. Winter driving means that tyres should have no less than 3mm remaining tread.

  5. Have your air conditioning serviced – it’s not only for summer, an effective air con system will demist windscreens much more quickly, helping visibility.

  6. Have the health of your battery checked – batteries have to work extra hard in the cold

  7. Make sure your windscreen washer fluid is topped up with the correct concentration of screenwash – windscreens get particularly dirty in the winter months and screenwash will help prevent the liquid from freezing.

  8. Have your coolant checked – the antifreeze needs to protect your engine against the lowest of temperatures. 

  9. Adjust your driving style to the conditions – be sensible in the rain, snow and ice.

  10. Above all, in bad conditions consider whether your journey is really necessary.

Ian Fraser, chief executive at Kwik Fit, said: “Last winter was the most severe for many years, and lots of drivers were caught out. We saw too many stories of motorists stranded by the side of the road, or skidding into an accident. That’s why it comes as such a shock that so many drivers are still not checking major areas of their cars.
 
“An MoT is a legal reason why a car is checked annually, but drivers can’t rely on checks carried out in spring or summer to keep them safe for winter driving. We encourage those who are planning on driving this winter to check their cars are up for it, and prepare for any eventuality. We can perform a winter check for free, and can advise on an emergency pack – such as a spade and a blanket.”

- ends -

Why fit winter tyres?: http://www.kwik-fit.com/why-fit-winter-tyres.asp
Winter tyres – FAQ: http://www.kwik-fit.com/winter-tyres-faq.asp

Note to editors
Tyre hotel cost is £45 per season.

The Kwik-Fit Group is the largest independent automotive parts, repair and replacement specialist in Europe and one of the largest in the world. With 1,800 service outlets across Europe it employs 9,000 people.  Kwik-Fit has national UK coverage of 676 service centres and more than 200 mobile tyre fitting vehicles, making it the UK’s leading tyre, exhaust, brake and MoT specialist.

The Group, established in 1971, is owned by PAI Partners. The pan European private equity firm completed its acquisition of the Group in August 2005.

For further information please contact:
Patrick Evans / Brandon Stockwell / Toby Clark
Citigate Dewe Rogerson Tel: 020 7638 9571