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
- 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.