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So winter is well and truly upon us – again! The roads are icy, the average temperature is at freezing point, the birds have flown south for the winter and all small mammals have hibernated. We all however have to resume business as usual and continue on our daily commutes to work, school and social events much as we did before the arctic season descended upon us. Unfortunately, we all to often get wrapped up in the comfort of summer driving and leave the winter preparations until the last minute – or unfortunately forget altogether.

We all should be aware that the winter weather brings with it many issues to consider from black ice to snow drifts and flat batteries to a broken heater. So what do we really need to do to prepare ourselves and our vehicles for driving in the winter? Any amount of research will return a great deal of information and advice from numerous sources and if you have taken the time to digest and act on this already then you will be driving safely way ahead of everyone else. For the rest of us however here are five top tips to help you prepare for driving in the winter and to ensure your journeys are as safe and as comfortable as possible:

Winter Tyres

1. Invest in a set of winter tyres. Not everyone is aware these are available but having a full set fitted will afford you extra grip and safety as winter tyres perform better by remaining more flexible than standard tyres in temperatures below 7 degrees. The added benefit is after winter you can have your usual tyres re-fitted and re-use your winter tyres the following year.


Get Your Car Serviced

2. It is also a good idea to have your car serviced just before the winter season begins – this will ensure your vehicle is given the all round green light by checking everything from the wheel alignment to the condition of your battery.

Spare Wiper Blades

3. Purchase a spare set of wiper blades, extra screen wash, de-icer and antifreeze. Its a good idea to leave these in the car so you are never caught out on a frosty morning or in a snow storm.

Check Your Spare Tyre

4. Check the spare tyre in the boot – is it in good condition? Is the jack there too? And don’t forget the interior of the car, check your heaters are in good working order – if not? Now is the time to get them fixed.

Prepare For A Breakdown

5. Finally, now your vehicle is mechanically safe and prepared for the snow – you must not forget that breakdowns do unfortunately happen and the snow does cause delays. Make sure you have the following items stored in your boot all winter round just in case the worst was to happen:

  • Snow shovel and spare ice scrapers.
  • Hats, scarves, gloves and blankets.
  • An extra jacket, spare pair of boots and thick socks.
  • A torch (with spare batteries) and a small bag of gravel ( this will give you extra tyre friction if stuck on ice – however an old piece of cloth placed under the tyre will work just as well).

Keep Your Mobile Phone Charged

And finally before you set off on any long journeys ensure you have a flask of coffee and ensure your mobile phone is fully charged, with of course your number for the your vehicle recovery provider (AA, RAC or other) stored in your contacts list.

Vivienne Ollis – Professional Blogger within the Automative Industry, covering topics from Fibreglass Mouldings to Car Sales