When winter weather comes in, you needn’t give driving the cold shoulder. But you might be wondering what to keep in your car in case of a winter breakdown
It’s a good idea to keep essential equipment in your car for when the temperature rapidly plummets, including equipment to keep your car moving.
Driving conditions can quickly deteriorate, so its imperative to keep a few things in your car so you’re prepared for the worst case situation. Ideally, no one wants to get stranded in their car, but it’s worth being ready in case it does happen.
Here’s what we recommend everyone keep in their car when driving in the winter:
1) High-visibility vest
Make yourself stand out as much as possible should you be forced to stop.
2) Warning triangle
As well as a hi-vis jacket, reflective warning triangles will make you more visible if you break down. They’ll warn other drivers that there’s a broken down vehicle up ahead, giving them a chance to slow down before they reach you.
Remember, don’t put a warning triangle on the hard shoulder if you’re on a motorway – it’s not safe. If you’re on a road and it’s safe, you can put a warning triangle at least 45m (50 yards) behind your vehicle and one in front of your vehicle.
3) Mobile phone charger
Keep a phone charger in the car. Most mobile phones can now be charged via a USB cable, so it might be worth investing in a cable to keep in the car
4) Warm and waterproof clothing
Multiple thin layers are better than one thick jacket, but a warm fleece is essential. Don’t forget a pair of thick socks and gloves. It’s also worth keeping a blanket in the car should you get stranded overnight (worst case scenario!).
5) Ice scraper and de-icer
You never know when you’ll wake up to an iced over windscreen or come back to a frozen car after a day out.
Make sure you always carry an ice-scraper and de-icer so you can effectively defrost your windscreen. If you don’t remove snow and ice properly, you could get 3 points on your licence and a £100 fine.
Sunglasses are a good way to combat low sun in winter and the glare that it can cause.
An essential if you get stranded, but make sure you check the batteries once a month. If your mobile phone has a torch then this will also do the job.
8) Shovel and old carpet
If you are stuck in snowfall, you can use the shovel to dig your wheels clear and then put the old carpet under the wheels should you get stuck.
9) Drinking water and snacks
Should you have to spend the night in the car, water and some snacks are important to help keep your strength up.
10) First aid kit
It’s always a good idea to keep a first aid kit in your car. The British Standards Institution has guidelines on what to include like sterile wipes, plasters, dressings and scissors to treat minor wounds. A good kit should have all these.
11) Empty fuel can
You’d be surprised how many breakdowns are caused by running out of fuel. If you keep an empty fuel can in the car, you’ll be able to nip to a filling station for a top up if you do run out.