Be prepared – is your vehicle ready for winter?

There are things you can do at the start of win­ter, before the bad weather, to pre­pare your vehi­cle and reduce the chances of break­ing down.

Check your vehi­cle is in good run­ning order, make sure tyres have got plenty of tread and con­sider reg­u­lar ser­vic­ing to help min­imise the risk.

If you’re going away, check what the fore­cast says for your return jour­ney and if you’re trav­el­ling some dis­tance remem­ber to check the weather at your des­ti­na­tion and along the route too.

Gather together the fol­low­ing items and pack in your vehi­cle at the start of the win­ter sea­son, you never know when you might need them!

  • Ice scraper and de-icer
  • Warm clothes and blan­kets — for you and all passengers
  • Torch and spare bat­ter­ies — or a wind-up torch
  • Boots
  • First aid kit
  • Jump leads
  • A shovel
  • Road atlas
  • Sun­glasses (the glare off win­ter sun can be dazzling)

In addi­tion, when set­ting out on jour­neys dur­ing the win­ter sea­son remem­ber to take with you:

  • Food and a flask with a hot drink
  • Any med­ica­tion you, or other peo­ple trav­el­ling with you, need to take regularly

Check that your vehi­cle is ready for win­ter using the POWDERY check­list as a good reminder:

  • PETROL (or diesel). Have you got enough? Do you know where to fill up?
  • OIL — check lev­els once a month
  • WATER — check radi­a­tor and screen­wash regularly
  • DAMAGE — check wipers, lights etc for signs of wear and tear or dam­age, and make sure wind­screens, win­dows and lights are clear of ice and snow.
  • ELECTRICS — check lights, indi­ca­tors and con­trols are work­ing properly
  • RUBBER TYRES — are they well inflated, legal, with good tread and free from damage?
  • YOU — are you fit to drive? Have you slept well? Are you tak­ing any med­ica­tion that could make it unsafe for you to drive?

If you are plan­ning to travel with pets, ensure that ani­mals are safe and secure, and will not be a dis­trac­tion to the dri­ver or peo­ple trav­el­ling in your vehi­cle — seek appro­pri­ate advice before you travel.

Read more about dri­ving in severe weather.