The cold weather can have a serious effect on your car’s health. Your car experiences more stress, increasing the chance of faults and a breakdown.
You never know when you're going to breakdown so it's important to be prepared with appropriate cover. The cause of the breakdown can hit you with a hefty repair bill, so consider taking out a car warranty to help save you money.
If you find yourself stranded this winter, we've compiled a list of essentials to help keep you safe and prepared.
Car Blanket and Warm Clothes
You can sometimes find yourself waiting long periods of time in a breakdown, and you’re often left without heating. It’s useful to carry warm clothing for you and your passengers to ensure your wait is as comfortable as it can be.
Car Torch and Spare Batteries
There's always a risk that you can breakdown at night on a road with no streetlights. Carrying a torch means you'll be aware of your surroundings, can alert other drivers of your location and look inside your bonnet for the cause of the breakdown.
Car Phone Charger
Keeping your phone fully charged is vital for ensuring that people can contact you or for you to contact your breakdown company. Carrying an in-car phone charger or portable charger means you can always be reached and can keep your phone topped up.
If you find that your phone battery has gone flat, it’s worth flagging down a passer-by and asking to use their mobile phone to contact your breakdown company (which you should always have a hard copy of!)
Two Emergency Triangles
Across many European nations a reflective triangle is a legal requirement. The reason you need two is so that you can position one at the front of your car and one at the back. The one at the back should be at least 45 metres or 147 feet behind the car. However you must never use it whilst on the motorway!
You can purchase these from the MotorEasy Shop.
High Visibility Jacket
If you need to leave your vehicle to wait for a breakdown vehicle, you must be seen by other motorists. There are less daylight hours in the winter so the likelihood of driving in the dark is increased. Carrying a high-vis jacket or any high-vis clothing will help you be seen by others and do a great deal for your safety.
Food and Drink
If the conditions are bad when you breakdown, you could be stuck for a while before help arrives. Make sure you carry food which will keep you sustained, especially if you are travelling with children. We recommend a big flask of something warm to keep you going, you can always drink it when you get to your destination.
Ice Scraper and De-icer Spray
Waiting for your car to be fixed can often take some time, and by the time the job is done you can find that your windscreen is iced over. Now you have to spend the next however long scraping your car with whatever you can find when all you want to do is get to your destination. Having an ice scraper and de-icer can save you masses of time, getting you back on the road ASAP.
Winter Boots with Good Grip
If you need to exit your vehicle in wintry conditions it's important that you have suitable shoes to be able to walk around your car with. Boots that have good underfoot grip can be easily found online, but if you'd like extra safety then you can buy slip on snow shoes that go over your ordinary shoes and give you extra grip.
Jump Start Cables
Dead or flat batteries are 51% more likely to occur in cold weather, but they do have the potential to occur at any time. Owning jump start cables are essential, just by having them a passing motorist can help you get back on the road.
If you’ve got a MotorEasy FitC warranty you can keep up-to-date on your car battery health through our smartphone app. Or you can take a look at our car battery maintenance guide for tips on how to keep your car battery healthy.
If your breakdown is due to a flat battery you might not want to plug in any electrical devices as that could trigger a flat battery once again. Carrying a map means you'll still be able to plan your route and complete your journey.
First Aid Kit
You should have a first aid kit all year round but during the winter it is essential to be able to treat any minor injuries that might come from slipping on ice. Your first aid kit should include sterile cleansing wipes, washproof plasters in assorted sizes, dressings, scissors, nitrile powder-free gloves and a Revive-Aid resuscitation face shield or something similar.
Low sun during the winter months can be extremely dangerous, and your sun visors might not be doing enough. Sunglasses can help improve your vision, which reduces the chances of an accident.
If there has been particularly deep snow, you live in the middle of nowhere or no roads have been gritted then you'll need a shovel to move the snow from underneath your wheels. If you have a relatively small car, you can purchase foldable shovels for when boot space is limited.