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Winter's sudden onset causes tyre change rush

Winter arrived to southern Finland in a hurry last Wednesday, leading to even longer queues at tyre changing garages in the capital area last week. A manager who's worked at a Helsinki tyre shop for the past 12 years said that last week was the busiest that he could remember.

talvirenkaat renkaiden vaihto Lapin Kumi Rovaniemi
Image: Antti Mikkola / Yle

Drivers who haven't changed their summer tyres to studded, winter ones now face long wait times for tyre changing services in the Helsinki region.

Jukka Niskasaari said it has been very busy at his the tyre shop where he works, Espoon rengaspiste, since last Monday.

"It's chaos here. Monday was the busiest day," he said on Friday, saying that the next available slot on the schedule for a tyre change would be later next week.

Hannu Paavola, who runs Helsingin Rengashotelli (Helsinki tyre hotel), says he wishes customers would think ahead a little more.

For weeks before the snow arrived, Paavola said, customers who wanted their tyres changed were only trickling in, saying that people often wait to hear about weather forecasts of snow before they make the switch.

Nastarenkaita Nokian Hakkapeliitta 7.
Image: Derrick Frilund / Yle

"People wait for weather reports and only decide to change their tyres if snow is forecast. They could change tyres earlier," Paavola said.

Tom Lundin, who runs the Vianor tyre shop in the Helsinki district of Kallio, said that business has been very brisk the past couple of weeks.

"It's been so busy these past two weeks that I don't even remember which day was worse than the others. All the days have been busy, but we've managed very well," Lundin said, amidst many stacks of tyres in the workshop.

"I've been working here for 12 years and this has been the busiest week that I can remember," Lundin said.

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