Winter car kits: what you need in your car to stay safe this winter
There’s no shortage of winter car kits on the market to help make sure you’re well-equipped for winter driving. Here we round up the most important items you need in your car over the winter months…
Winter can be a tough time for your car. With the rain, snow, sleet and general cold temperatures, there’s a chance of problems if you don’t care of it. To help you out, we’ve compiled the below list of the top products you need in your winter car kit – both to keep your car in good condition and to keep you safe while winter driving.
The winter cocktail of rain, sleet, snow and general traffic grime can play havoc with your windscreen, and often requires a different kind of screenwash to the one you use in the summer to get rid of bugs.
A lot of specialist winter screenwash products come in concentrated form, but Prestone offer a ready-to-use formula which can work all the way down to -23 degrees Celsius (Prestone, £11.89).
Autoglym’s 500 ml Ultimate Screenwash is a highly concentrated formula that can be diluted to make 8 litres of screenwash, or you can use the concentrated form to remain effective in extreme cold (Autoglym, £7.91)
Car Plans’ Winter Essentials Gift Pack comes with 300ml of de-icer as well as a 500ml bottle of screenwash and a free ice scraper (Car Plan, £7.52).
Another popular choice is Prestone’s 3xpack of 600ml de-icer which can work down to -25 degrees Celsius (Prestone, £8.99).
Car battery charger
One of the most common driver mishaps over the winter months is to leave your lights on. With the nights getting darker it’s easy to leave them on overnight after coming home from work, which can drain your car battery and leave you feeling a bit silly in the morning.
Investing in jump leads to keep in the car is a good option, which means other motorists can help you out and give you a jump start. Another option is to buy a car battery charger, which you can use to give the battery a quick top up to get the engine up and running.
The AA Battery Charger & Maintainer is a popular choice (AA, £26.98)
The low sun in winter can cause serious visibility problems, as can the glare from wet roads and snow, so make sure you always have a pair of sunglasses to hand when you’re driving.
Sunglasses with polarised lenses are the best for driving, as these provide sharpened detail and less glare. Like everyday sunglasses, some can be very expensive – but as you’ll only be using them sparingly when you drive we recommend the Duco polarised sunglasses (Duco, £15), which get the job done without costing a small fortune.
Emergency winter car kit
The AA Car Essentials Emergency Winter Car Kit (AA, £28.99) includes a folding shovel to help clear snow and ice out of the way, a high-vis vest, a foil blanket, a 9-LED torch, insulated booster cables, a rain poncho and snow and ice grips.
Basically, everything you might need to make sure you stay safe in an emergency during winter driving.
The kit comes packaged in a handy carry case and can be easily stored in the boot for quick access.
You might think it’s a bit obvious to recommend warm clothes in winter, but hands-up who keeps warm items of clothing in the car just in case? If you don’t, then you should definitely consider it as keeping warm and dry is probably the first thing you’ll be thinking about if you have to get out the car during a blizzard.
The key to staying warm is layers, so keep an old hoodie or cardigan in the car at all times during the winter so you can quickly throw it on and layer up in the event of an accident.
Food and drink
Long delays are common in winter, whether it’s due to breaking down or because the hazardous conditions mean an accident has happened up ahead and your stuck in traffic for a few hours.
When this does happen, you’ll be glad you though ahead and kept a little bag of snacks and water in the car to keep you going!