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Winter on the roads is one of the most dangerous times, especially around the Christmas period. The traffic is much heavier around this period and people are always in a rush to get their last minute bits and pieces and to get to the places they need to be. This is why you need to be extra careful and make sure your car is in tip top condition and ready for the snow.

Before you set out in winter you should make sure that your car’s been fully serviced; although this is not an essential procedure – unlike an MOT – it really is important. Having your car serviced will test everything from the brakes to the windscreen wipers and electronics and replace them if necessary. Services are also a great way of picking up any underlying problems before they become too serious. If this doesn’t persuade you enough then having your car regularly serviced will also mean that it’s worth more when you come to sell it.

You should always check your break down cover before you set out on any long journeys to make sure that you’re covered, should the worst happen?

Never forget your de-icer. This could be the most important thing for you and your car throughout the winter – especially if you want to be at work on time. You may also want to consider adding de-icer to your washer bottle to ensure you’ll always have use of your water jets when the dirty sludge form the road finds its way onto your windscreen. You could try pre-icer too – if you spray this on your windscreen at night it prevents ice building up on your windscreen and makes it much easier to scrape off in the morning.

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You might want to get yourself a shovel and an emergency kit – just in case. A shovel is a great tool to have if you find yourself caught in some heavy snowfall or even a blizzard, as it could be your only way of getting out again after. An emergency car kit will also keep you and your car kit in case you breakdown or get stuck. These kits often contain red warning triangles that you can put at the side of the road, a torch and high-vis jacket, a first aid kit, rope and ice grips for your shoes – a good one will probably cost over £20 but if you find that you need it you’ll realise how useful it is.

Finally, you should definitely have a car cover for storing your car in the winter. A car cover will prevent any moisture from finding its way onto your paintwork and it then beginning to rust. If you have any patches of missing paint it will also prevent moisture from getting under the paintwork as this could cause your paint to peel from the body of the car.

Craig Beech shares his knowledge on winter car essentials on behalf of carcoverseller.co.uk.