As coronavirus forces more people into isolation from the outside world, shops, restaurants and pubs are turning to delivery services to stay in business. And tyre-fitting, it seems, is no different, as garage chain Kwik Fit reported a 15 percent uplift in enquiries for appointments at customers’ homes.

According to the firm, which boasts more than 600 service centres across the UK and more than 200 mobile tyre fitting vehicles, enquiries for appointments at customers’ homes have risen 15 percent in the past few days. The company says the “majority” of those are for customers who are self-isolating.

With that in mind, Kwik Fit has introduced a host of “social distancing” measures for its mobile tyre-fitters as they head out to appointments. For starters, the company is hoping technicians can collect vehicle keys without human contact. For example, the company suggests customers put the key on the doorstep, then retreat to a safe distance inside before the technicians pick it up.

Where possible, the company is also asking customers to provide the locking wheel nut from inside the vehicle. That will allow Kwik Fit’s technicians to carry out the work without ever entering the interior of the customer’s car.

Mechanic checking the pressure of a van tyre

At the same time, the company has instructed technicians to “thoroughly” clean their hands between jobs and use a fresh pair of gloves for each vehicle they work on. The measures, the company says, are designed to minimise any risk of passing infection between customers, as well as protecting staff.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said although members of the public were self-isolating to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, drivers still felt the need to keep their cars road-legal and ready to head out if there’s an emergency.

Mechanic checking depth of tyre tread for wear

“While normal life has been severely curtailed and many people are keeping travel to a minimum, it is still important for people’s peace of mind that their car is ready in case of emergency,” he said. “Those car owners who are self-isolating have realised that mobile fitting is the perfect way to ensure their car is in a safe condition for when they are once more free to move around. We have responded to the increased requirements with greater stock levels to meet demand, but more importantly, by introducing key precautions to help reduce the spread of the virus.”