Three weeks before the deadline of 1er December, neither CAA Quebec nor the tire-fitting garages expect a shortage of winter tires this year.
“Everyone will be able to put winter tires on their car this year,” says Nicolas Ryan, spokesperson for CAA Quebec. However, some tires may no longer be available and consumers may not have access to their first choice.
Tire retailers are still warning motorists that more specialized tires may be hard to find. For “sharper” tires, there are sometimes shortages of stock at certain manufacturers. We feel it a little more than usual, ”explains Stéphane Poirier, branch manager at Pneus Touchette. For tires of unusual dimensions, “the consumer will not have three choices, but only one”, he adds.
In addition, retailers point out that it is always possible to make a size conversion and install tires and rims of different sizes, if the correct size tire is out of stock. “We are going to find an equivalent and customers will not be less well served,” says Charlyne Ratté, of Pneus Ratté.
According to CAA Quebec, the increase in demand for tires is attributable to two different reasons. First, many snowbirds will stay in Quebec during the cold season and must prepare their car accordingly, in some cases for the first time in many years. Also, during the spring containment, some motorists preferred to keep their winter tires and wore them prematurely during the summer.
The appointment setting is going well
Garages say they are operating at around 70% of their usual capacity because of the implementation of sanitary measures. Despite this slowdown, they are sure to be able to serve everyone before the deadline of 1er December. They praise the discipline of their clients who made their appointments earlier this year.
It’s even nicer than other years. We are organized, the flow is lower, things are going well.
Daniel Bélisle, of Pneus Papineau
Garages invite latecomers and snowbirds less used to making an appointment quickly to ensure compliance with the law. “There is still room in the workshops”, adds Mme Ratté. A visit to several garage appointment booking websites mostly confirms this. Some garages are already full and others do not have time slots available for two weeks.
In Quebec, cars must be fitted with winter tires between 1er December and March 15.
Grace period when buying a car
Retailers also recall that motorists who buy a car in the middle of winter have a seven-day grace period to install winter tires.
“You don’t have to or rush to buy your tires where you bought your car. The dealership does not always have the right product for you, ”explains Charlyne Ratté.
The purchaser must request a certificate from the SAAQ to take advantage of the delay.