A Reading youngster who barely knew one end of a car from the other is now celebrating after qualifying to become a tyre fitter with one of the UK's largest fast fit networks.

Alex Whitney, aged 18, has spent more than 2 years studying and training to gain his automotive NVQs and is now a fully qualified as a technician with HiQ in Caversham Road, Reading.

The new appointment is further show of strength for the fast fit network, which recently celebrated an impressive 12 months of trading with turnover and footfall up.

HiQ Reading's centre manager Tony Whitney said: "Alex walked in here looking for a job, but knew absolutely nothing about cars whatsoever, which wasn't the best start.

"But since then, he has worked hard for over two years and is a talented young lad who we are delighted to be employing full time."

Alex said: "All the hard work has paid off for me, and I am enjoying every minute of work here. I'm dealing with a variety of different requests on a daily basis and enjoy the challenges posed."

HiQ Reading has four other full-time members of staff and is currently experiencing a busy period of trading, as the centre deals with a number of pot hole related damage to cars.

Centre manager Tony added: "The prolonged cold weather has certainly resulted in us fixing more cars.

"We are dealing with around 10 extra tracking and alignment problems per week, and are even fixing cracked wheels, caused by pot hole damage."

HiQ Reading is continuing to offer free winter car visual health checks to reassure motorists in the cold weather.

For more information on HiQ Reading and its services contact 0118 959 0054.

Alex Whitney is all smiles after qualifying as a tyre technician with HiQ Reading