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Feature: Fast-fit, manufacturers join in the fast-fit revolution

The fast-fit business has grown rapidly over the past two decades. Since Kwik-Fit began in 1987, many manufacturers have realised the advantages of offering a while-you-wait service and the added benefits it brings, such as upselling opportunities and customer retention.

As more manufacturers entered the market so the pricing has become more competitive with the notion of independent fast-fits being cheaper than dealers not necessarily the case anymore.

Dealers are now starting to hold their own in the sector and, with new car registrations falling 24% in April, a fast-fit operation could be an invaluable extra profit stream.

With the recession still biting hard many people are putting off changing cars, good news for fast-fits as the average age of vehicles using their services is about six years.

And it is not only retail customers who are attracted to the convenience of a while-you-wait service, but also fleets.
Stewart Whyte, director of the Association of Car Fleet Operators, said there is nothing like a recession to make people evaluate their fleets and to look at prices.

He said: “The worst thing to do is to keep buying tyres from one place.

“There is a trend for people to look at areas of cost and whether there is a another way.

“People with an independent account might start to compare prices to a dealer or local tyre company to check if they are doing things the right way.

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