Winter Driving Checklist

Nothing beats being prepared for all eventualities when you’re out on the road. Start the winter season with everything you might need for poor weather conditions, and you’ll be less likely to come unstuck. Here’s our checklist of items you’ll need in your emergency kit:

  • Ice scraper and de-icer
  • Spare headlamp bulbs
  • First aid kit
  • Warning triangle and high-vis jacket
  • Torch and spare batteries
  • Boots and warm clothes
  • Blankets for all passengers
  • Food and drink
  • Shovel
  • Mobile phone charger
  • Jump leads
  • Sunglasses to reduce glare from snow

If weather conditions are particularly poor, check the travel updates before you leave and only begin your journey if it is absolutely necessary. Plan your route and check traffic conditions and expected weather.

It is also advisable to let relatives or friends know your what your intended route is and what time you expect to arrive.

Checklist for getting started in the cold

Problems getting started often occur in the cold because car batteries and electrical systems have to work a lot harder. Check and, if need be, charge your battery regularly in the winter months to avoid issues, and take a look at our checklist below to make sure you give you vehicle the best chance of starting.

  • Ensure lights, wipers and heaters are switched off before starting the engine
  • Disconnect sat-navs, iPods or MP3s and other plug-in entertainment before starting the engine
  • Avoid using heaters, heated screens and heated seats for longer than necessary
  • Don’t leave phone chargers connected or interior lights on
  • Park in a garage where possible

You may also want to check the following before you set off:

  • Screenwash – ensure you have plenty of screenwash and that the concentration is suitable for cold conditions
  • Check that engine coolant is between minimum and maximum markers
  • Check the condition and tread depth on your tyres as well as pressure
  • Check wiper blades for damage and allow your windscreen to clear before using them