The great reduction in vehicle movements resulting from lockdown has had an unintended and unwelcome consequence for some motorists. Kwik Fit reports that with the vast majority of people making only infrequent, or very short journeys, the number of drivers visiting its outlets over the four weeks to 1 May needing a new battery has been double the usual rate for the time of year.
UK motorists spent a total of £1.25 billion repairing pothole damage to their vehicles over the last year, reveals research published this week by Kwik Fit. This research from Walnut (formerly ICM) indicates that more than 10.8 million vehicles in the UK were damaged in the last 12 months due to poor road conditions. The costs to motorists for such damage over the last three years amounts to an astonishing £3.4 billion.
Research carried out for Kwik Fit suggests that Birmingham is the UK’s most expensive city for car ownership. According to the results, Brummies pay almost twice as much for the privilege as residents of Exeter do.
Research carried out by Opinium on behalf of Kwik Fit suggests that more than 2.7 million UK drivers may have had a collision or veered off the road in the last two years because they were distracted by their mobile phone.
At its recent AGM the Tyre Industry Federation (TIF) unanimously elected Alfred Graham as its new chairman. Graham will serve a two-year period of office. He will also remain director of the International Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ITMA).
A survey performed for Kwik Fit indicates that the pothole problem is getting worse in the UK, a trend that will surprise very few people. Based upon feedback from 2,049 respondents, it has been determined that pothole damage to vehicles last year cost a total of £915 million to repair. This is 34 per cent more than the cost calculated from a similar survey two years ago – and the rise can’t be explained away by increasing repair costs.
On Tuesday 25 May 2017, NTDA national chairman Roger Griggs and chief executive Stefan Hay, who are both Liverymen of the Worshipful Company of Wheelwrights, joined fellow Liverymen and Wheelwrights Past Masters David Viner and David Wernick in presenting a Wheelwrights’ Charity cheque for £15,000 to WheelPower the British Wheelchair Sports charity at the Stoke Mandeville Stadium – the birthplace of the Paralympic Movement.
Although the legal tread depth limit is 1.6mm, only 16 per cent of the UK’s ‘blue-light’ services allow the tread on their emergency vehicles’ tyres to go below 2.5mm of tread before being changed. In fact, Kwik Fit claims that on average the emergency services change their vehicle tyres at a tread depth of 2.74mm.
The Mail on Sunday has engaged in a spot of sleuthing, and claims that Kwik Fit charged its undercover reporters for car parts that were never changed and urged them to consent to certain repairs it says were unnecessary. In response, a spokesperson for the vehicle repair and fast-fit chain states that the Mail on Sunday article “focused on a small number of allegations with which we fundamentally disagree.”
A survey carried out on behalf of Kwik Fit suggest that, of the 20 million British motorists who bought their current car second hand, less than half of them carried out some of the most vital safety checks on their new vehicle before they parted with their cash and drove away.
Following up comments made at the Tyre Wholesale Group’s annual lunch on 5 October, NTDA chief executive Stefan Hay has called for a total ban on the sale of part-worn tyres. Speaking at the association’s Tyre Industry Conference, held at the VOX Conference Centre on Thursday 6 October 2016, Hay said previous attempts to enforce current laws through collaboration with trade bodies and enforcement agencies have not yielded the required results, leaving the association with little option but to harden its stance. Later the same day, NTDA chairman Roger Griggs reiterated the message during the association’s annual dinner.
For many, it seems, Brexit means holidays at home. Research conducted on behalf of Kwik Fit suggests that more than 2 million UK holidaymakers intend to shun holidays abroad this year as a result of the Brexit referendum’s outcome. Based on the responses of survey participants, the tyre and car servicing network anticipates that 1.5 million Britons who otherwise would have travelled overseas will now holiday at home, while 900,000 are no longer going on holiday at all this year. On the other hand, Kwik Fit comments that 850,000 people have decided against staying in the UK and now plan to go abroad.
At its 87th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Wednesday 11 May 2016, the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) executive council elected Autogem managing director Prashant Chopra as vice chairman of the association.