Driving in the winter can be dangerous and scary, especially for new drivers. In Britain, you can leave your house in bright sunshine and a jacket and reach your destination with your car covered in snow and you desperate for a hat and a pair of gloves. With unpredictability like this, its so important to be prepared with winter car essentials.
- Ice scraper and de-icer
An ice scraper and de-icer are about as essential as it gets. If you’re leaving your house in the morning you don’t want to be restricted or late due to ice on your windscreen. Many people often think if they have a garage that they won’t consider this essential. However, what about your parking destination? If there’s one thing worse than not being able to go somewhere its definitely not being able to come home again.
From a legal standpoint too, not removing snow and ice properly could get you 3 points on your licence and a £100 fine.
In an emergency, you may need to get out of the car to make a call, make a repair or just get help. With short days and long nights in winter, its much more likely to be at night when this unfortunate event happens. Always carry a torch to make sure you have good visibility at all times.
- A fully charged mobile phone
A mobile phone has become a necessity in the modern world, especially if traveling. Although a mobile phone can’t be used as any more than a satnav or handsfree device whilst driving, they are still crucial to have fully charged at all times.
In the event of an accident, you may need emergency services. In the event of a breakdown, you may need roadside assistance. Either of these events could also mean you’re going to be late for someone who is expecting you. You really do need a mobile phone in almost every emergency situation. Keep it fully charged even if it’s just to keep yourself on track to your destination after taking a wrong turn!
- An in-car phone charger or power pack
If it wasn’t possible to leave your home with a full battery, make sure you always have a power charge pack in your car. A good one will often have multiple full charges worth of battery in it per charge and are worth the purchase.
You’re not going mad! And nor are we… It’s important to have sunglasses in the car as the days are shorter, meaning the sun is lower at more common driving times (morning and evening). Keep your sunglasses in the car to make sure you have good visibility of the road at all times.
- First aid kit
This is a no brainer. In the event of an emergency, you may well have some minor injuries you can treat yourself. In a more major event, there may be things you can do to help whilst you wait for proper medical care from the emergency services.
It’s also crucial to keep smaller equipment in your first aid kit such as plasters which can stop things like small cuts impacting your driving.
- Warm clothes and waterproofs
Warm clothes are an obvious inclusion in a winter survival kit. However, not just the ones you are wearing. Keep an extra pair with you to in case of wet weather or just the need for extra layers.
Getting stuck in the middle of nowhere in the cold is never fun. Keep snacks and drinks in your car so you can keep a higher concentration level whilst you wait for assistance.
- Jump leads
A flat battery is more likely in winter as cold weather affects batteries. The longer a car sits unused the more likely it will need a jump start, and we’ve all been using our cars less this year.
Often, a flat battery can get going again with a jump start from a fellow driver. That’s where jump leads come in handy. Someone roadside would be happy to help, especially as you have your own equipment to do the job.
Remember, it’s important to ask yourself if you have to drive in terrible winter conditions. You are putting yourself in danger, so only drive when absolutely essential. If this is the case, however, make sure your car is stocked up and you’re as best prepared as possible.
- A New Car
It seems stupid, but this winter might be the right time to say goodbye and upgrade your car. With newer technologies, cars are safer than ever in winter conditions. Use our car finance calculator here to see your options.