Millions of Motorists on an Expensive Road to Disqualification

Sep 19, 2011, 04:00 ET from The HiQ fast fit retail network

BIRMINGHAM, England, September 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --

Nearly one in two British motorists are risking thousands of pounds worth of fines and potential driving bans on a daily basis, according to shocking new research revealed by the HiQ fast fit network.

HiQ has conducted an illegal tyre audit across its network and can reveal that 42% of motorists are making journeys on dangerously worn tyres.

The biggest culprits were found in the Birmingham, the north east and Cheshire areas of the UK, prompting HiQ to issue a rallying call to motorists to wake up.

More worryingly, the results are significantly up from HiQ's last audit in 2009, when 27 per cent of motorists were driving on illegal tyres.

HiQ's Retail Development Manager, Farrell Dolan said that the results proved that despite years of highlighting the danger of bare, worn tyres, the safety message is still not getting through.

This is why HiQ, the nationwide fast fit network, has come up with a no-nonsense 1-2-3 campaign in a bid to rid the roads of an unnecessary danger.

  1. One worn or defective tyre could cost you £2,500*
  2. Two tyre lengths could be added to your stopping distance at 50mph in wet conditions**
  3. Three points will be added to your license for each tyre with a tread depth less than 1.6mm***

The network is investing heavily to add weight to its hard hitting campaign, while equipping motorists with the tools they need to avoid the three hazardous pitfalls associated with illegal tyres.

The brand has created an SMS and email alert service for their customers, to remind them about their tyre pressure levels, with more information available on http://www.hiqonline/

In addition, participating HiQ centres across the UK will be providing free tyre safety checks for motorists from now until the end of the year.

Mr Dolan added: "We wanted to generate some hard hitting messages that motorists will take note of.

"To say we were shocked by our audit results is an understatement. We were staggered that thousands of motorists are sitting on an automotive time bomb.

"Some vehicles we checked had three or even four defective tyres, which would amount to 12 penalty points and up to £10,000 in fines. It is that serious."

To make the most of HiQ's free tyre safety checks, please click on for your nearest centre.

Illegal tyre case study (mother stranded on M6 with child!)

Wolverhampton mother Rachel Rankin learned a painful lesson in tyre safety the hard way.

Driving along the M6 near the M5 interchange, Rachel, aged 35, suffered a blow-out of her rear passenger tyre, causing her to swerve and narrowly avoid an accident.

With three year-old son Arthur in the back of the bar and no embankment to seek refuge, she was stranded.

Full link to case study:

Notes to Editors:

*The penalties for having illegal tyres are currently a fine of up to £2,500 and 3 penalty points per tyre. This relates to the law as defined in Regulation 27 of the Road Vehicle (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986.

**Stopping distances: Tests carried out by the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) involving four different vehicles travelling on wet roads on four different tread depths. At 50 mph on 3mm tread depth stopping distance = 31.7 m. On 1.6 mm tread epth stopping distance was increased 39.5 metres.

***Source: National Tyre Distributors Association figures show that of nearly 60,000 cars checked, 7,000 were being driven on at least one illegal tyre. The findings suggest that as many as 3.6 million cars in the UK could also be running on illegal tyres, if the figures were extrapolated across the population. (

One illegal tyre = Fine of up to £2,500 and three points on your licence

Two illegal tyres = Fine of up to £5,000 and six points on your licence

Three illegal tyres = Fine of up to £7,500 and nine points on your licence

Four illegal tyres = Fine of up to £10,000 and 12 points on your licence

The HiQ Network

The HiQ fast fit retail network consists of over 150 branches across the UK and is the only franchised fast fit network in the automotive sector. In addition to selling, fitting and checking tyres, HiQ also provides brakes, exhausts, batteries, MOTs and vehicle servicing and maintenance.

The network of HiQ centres is currently being redeveloped to reflect the company's customer commitment to differentiate itself from competitors and become Fast Fit You Can Be Sure Of.

The company's proposition is to offer certainty and reassurance, with jargon free communication; open and honest pricing; modern, comfortable facilities; better choice and value; and excellent customer-focused service.

The network now has ambitious growth plans and aims to increase its centre network to 300 branches by 2014 creating many jobs in the process.


Ben Smallman

Tel: +44(0)1902-714-957 / +44(0)7772443367

SOURCE The HiQ fast fit retail network