Top 10 items to keep in your car during winter
(Posted on 25/10/18)
We’re heading into a cold spell according to weather forecasts but after summer’s heatwave many motorists won’t be prepared for winter driving.
As the UK grinds to a standstill at the slightest flutter of snow, now is the time to stock and prep your vehicle before winter sets in. Being prepared is key so we’ve looked at the top 10 must-have items, you should keep in your car this winter:
Having a clear windscreen is vital for visibility especially during winter when the sun is at its lowest point. Keep some ready-mixed screen wash in the car, just in case yours runs out mid-journey.
De-icer and scraper
It’s illegal to drive with snow obstructing the view from your windscreen so make sure you scrape and clear before setting off. Unless you’re one of the lucky ones with front and rear heated windscreens, de-icer will speed up the process so keep a full can in the car throughout winter.
Blanket or sleeping bag
Hopefully you won’t be stranded but it has happened to many during the winter months. A warm blanket or sleeping bag will keep you toasty while waiting for roadside recovery or if you’re stuck on the motorway for hours.
Bottled water and snacks
Non-perishable snacks such as cereal bars or crisps are always handy to have in the car, just make sure you don’t eat them beforehand! Keep bottles of water handy and if you’re making a long journey a flask with a hot drink or soup would be a good idea.
A torch with working batteries is one of the essentials for short winter days. Breaking down or having a flat battery on a country lane would be frightening in the dark, so a torch is definitely one of the essentials.
It’s always handy to have a spare phone charger in the car, it would be bad enough breaking down but only having 10% battery life left on your phone would make it even worse. A portable battery charger may also be a good move in winter.
There are plenty of first-aid kids designed for cars on the market. Having a fully-stocked one would not only be useful during an accident but also comes in handy on day trips or outings.
Roadside assistance and insurance details
If you broke down or had an accident, would you know who to contact? Keep details of your roadside assistance provider and insurance company in your glovebox so they’re on hand should you need them.
Don’t leave yourself short of fuel. Most people fill up before a long journey but during every-day trips try not to run your tank below a quarter or ideally half a tank. It’s also a good idea to keep an empty fuel can in the car, just in case you do run out.
Flat batteries are one of the most common call outs for roadside assistance groups during winter. Keep jump leads in the back of the car, this way you may be able to get back on the road a lot quicker.
Not content with having 10 items? Try storing these additional safety necessities for full winter protection:
- High-vis jacket
- Warning triangles
- Spare warm clothing and gloves
- A bag of sand, grit or cat litter to help when stuck in snow
- Road map
- Spare sunglasses
- Suitable footwear
- Tow rope or chain
- Small tool kit
- Air compressor
- Spare batteries
Several companies offer motorists free winter car checks. Kwik-Fit and Halfords are just two of the many who will check that your vehicle is geared up for winter motoring.
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