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MONTREAL -- By law, Quebecers have until Dec. 1 this year to install winter tires on their vehicles.

But CAA-Quebec has two words for those dawdling until the deadline: why wait?

Kicking off (slightly tongue in cheek) what it calls "La Semaine nationale de prise de rendez-vous pour les pneus d'hiver," the agency on Tuesday publicly called on motorists to get a jump on things, warning that the earlier deadline this year - moved up from Dec. 15 - and a shortage of manpower could lead to serious backlogs at garages this fall.

Waiting until the first snowfall of the year, as many Quebecers do, is too late, the agency warns, and with the perfect storm of conditions mentioned above, that could leave drivers without their winter tires on until past the legal deadline.

CAA Quebec is recommending that, depending on where they live, Quebecers should consider installing their winter tires as early as October. (In related news: today is Oct. 1).

To help guide Quebecers' decisions, CAA-Quebec has issued a list of "realistic dates" for people to change their tires depending on where they live. (Sept-Iles residents: better book your appointment now). The realistic dates are based on when the forecast daytime high temperature in these areas dips to below 7C.

  • Montreal: Nov. 10
  • Quebec City, Gatineau, Sherbrooke: Nov. 5
  • Rimouski and Gaspe: Oct. 30
  • Val-d'Or and Saguenay: Oct. 25
  • Sept-Iles: Oct. 20