Preparing your car for winter

It’s that time again where you have to start thinking about preparing your car for winter. There are lots of things that you can do to make your travels safer and less stressful during the cold, dark months. We’re going to talk you through some of the simple steps you can follow to make winter driving much easier.

Check your battery

The increased use of electric heaters put extra strain on your battery, so you need to make sure it’s in good working order. Many of us haven’t been using our cars as much this year with lockdown restrictions, so car batteries haven’t always been getting a full charge. Before you travel, make sure your battery is in full working order.

Screen wash

Keep your screen wash topped up and travel with a spare bottle in the car of winter screen wash. Rain, frost and dirty roads mean you’ll need to clear your screen regularly to keep good visibility. Make sure you choose specific winter screen wash too. It has a much lower freezing point than water or summer wash and won’t freeze or block your jets.

snow covered street with parked cars

Car mats

While car mats are a good idea to help protect your carpets from wet, muddy footwear, they have an extra use in winter. If your car gets stuck, unable to find a grip on the surface, wedge your mats underneath them. This should give them enough purchase to get you moving again.


Your lights are incredibly important at all times of year, but with long, dark winter days, they’re vital. Make sure you test your lights regularly throughout the winter to keep you and all other road users safe.

Put together an emergency car kit

Having an emergency car kit makes a break down much less stressful. Put together a box with useful items like: a mobile phone charger, high visibility vests and warm clothes, a first aid kit, a torch, a de-icer and scraper, bottled water and high energy snacks, a shovel, and a tow rope.

Winter tyres

Winter tyres offer additional grip on the road in cold weather and will serve you well if we get snow this winter. Find out whether you need winter tyres here.

If you don’t need to fully swap your tyres for the season, make sure you do a full tyre check to make sure your tread depth is over 1.6mm. A deeper tread helps improve your ability to steer and brake. You also need to check your tyre pressure more regularly, as its likely to drop with the changing air temperature.

car tyre on a snow covered road

Wiper blades

You’ll need your wiper blades a lot over the winter period. Make sure they’re in good working order, don’t leave smears across your windscreen and are free from tears and snags.

Check out our tips for replacing window wipers yourself.

Inspect your brakes regularly

You need your brakes to be in perfect working order and the strains of winter can cause them to wear. With damp, cold road conditions and regular gritting, your brakes might need some extra care and maintenance.

Have your breakdown documents to hand

If the worst does happen and your car suffers a breakdown, having your policy documents to hand makes a stressful situation much easier. You won’t need to hunt out a mobile signal to search through your email to find the information you need.

Get in touch

If you want to avoid the stress of car care over winter, choose to hire a vehicle for your journey. All our cars are fully maintained by their manufacturers and kept in perfect working order. Take a look at our hire vehicles and book yours online today.

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