Cold weather driving
Of all the seasons, winter requires the most care and preparation if you're to stay safe and avoid a breakdown.
Having the correct equipment can make the difference between being stranded and getting home safely.
Here's our general checklist for safe and trouble free driving through the cold, dark months ahead.
Check your car
Get up at least 10 minutes early to give you time to prepare the car.
- Check that your vehicle is properly maintained and fully serviced.
- Ensure tyres have plenty of tread depth, correctly inflated and are in good condition. Don't forget the spare.
- Batteries should be in good condition.
- Radiators must contain anti-freeze and the cooling system is free from leaks
- Ensure windscreen wipers are working effectively and washer bottles are full and contain freezing/cleaning additive.
- Ensure you have de-icer and a scraper. Before setting off, make sure you clean any ice or condensation from all the windows and mirrors to optimise visibility.
- Clean all lights and check they are working.
Winter emergency kit
As well as the things you should be carrying on every journey regardless of the weather, you should make up a winter emergency kit to keep in the boot - hopefully you won't need it but you will be very glad it's there if you do.
- Blanket, rug or sleeping bag
- Bits of carpet or thick cardboard to place under driven wheels to help regain traction on ice or snow
- Salt, sand or cat litter - to help clear snow and ice
- Reflective jacket(s)
- Ice scraper and de-icer
- Torch and batteries
- Tow rope
- Snow chains (if you live in a remote or rural area)
- Battery jump leads
- Bottled water
- Fully-charged mobile phone and in-car charger
- Snacks - chocolate or cereal bars
- Extra screen wash