But take our advice and you’ll be able to take it all in your stride. Keep this handy checklist for the future, and you’ll never have to worry about wintry weather ever again.
- Check the basics on your car. Make sure all your lights work, all the tyres are pumped up to the correct pressures (including the spare) and ensure that the radiator is topped up to the correct level and strength with anti-freeze. Fill up your windscreen washer reservoir too, adding a little more screen wash solution than you would for the summer months – a 50 per cent mix water/solution is a good idea.
- Never let your fuel tank run too low. Always make sure you’ve got enough diesel for a few days, just in case.
- On every journey, make sure that your mobile phone is fully charged. Keep a spare charger in the car for emergencies. It could be essential if something happens.
- Keep a set of spare clothes in your car, including a warm jumper and a coat. If you breakdown and get wet and cold, you’ll have something dry to change into.
- A blanket kept in the boot of the car to keep you warm, along with a snow shovel so you can dig yourself out of any deep snow is a good idea. Wearing a reflective jacket will ensure that you’re spotted in dismal conditions.
- Water and a selection of snacks will keep you going if you get stranded. Chocolate may not be great for a diet, but is a good source of extra energy.
- A torch in the glovebox comes in handy if something happens at night. Make sure that the batteries work, or it is fully recharged.
- Sturdy shoes kept in the car will be really useful if the event of breakdown. A pair of high heels or sandals may look great when going out, but not very good in the snow or ice.
- Keeping a first aid kit in the car will take care of any minor injuries to yourself or other motorists.
- Never use a credit card to remove the ice from your windscreen, as you risk snapping it and not being able to access any money. While that may do your bank balance the world of good, a sturdy ice scraper or a can of de-icer will clear the windscreen much more effectively, and more importantly, quicker.
- Breakdown cover will ensure that you get rescued, whatever the weather. Shopping around online will ensure you get the best deal.
- Make sure that your insurance cover is up to date and fit for purpose, as it’s easy to miss the renewal date when it’s something you only have to do once a year. Whether this is with GoCompare, Express Insurance or ComparetheMarket. Put the date in your diary or on your mobile phone calendar two weeks before it is due, so that you can shop around to get the best deal.
- Keep a copy of Diesel Car in the glovebox just in case. Whilst you’re waiting for the snow to thaw, or to be rescued, you can catch up with all the latest news and car tests.
Most importantly, always look at the weather forecast, either online or on the television, and always follow their advice. If you’re a new or nervous driver and feeling uncertain about driving in harsh weather conditions, it’s always worth looking at the highway code to refresh your memory on what to look out for.