Winter Car Checklist: Essentials

It’s good to be prepared for winter, right? Yet often so many people are caught unaware. The best way to ensure that you are as prepared as possible for the winter weather is to take action before the bad weather sets in. Why?

In February 2019 where 19cm (7.5in) was recorded at RAF Odiham in Hampshire. Highways England said delays had hit the M3, A303 and A34 with many people stuck in their vehicles overnight. In 2018 motorists were stuck in their cars overnight on the M80 and we all know what happened in the Winter of 2009/10–blimey.

Below are some items you should always carry during winter months.

1. Ice scraper

Make sure you have a good ice scraper to hand. Here’s a few at different price points:

They are most important as the law states..

  • you MUST be able to see, so clear all snow and ice from all your windows
  • you MUST ensure that lights are clean and number plates are clearly visible and legible
  • make sure the mirrors are clear and the windows are demisted thoroughly
  • remove all snow that might fall off into the path of other road users
  • check your planned route is clear of delays and that no further snowfalls or severe weather are predicted.
    (Laws CUR reg 30, RVLR reg 23, VERA sect 43 & RV(DRM)R reg 11)

2. De-icer

You got a scrapper. Now you need de-icer for applying after you have removed snow and ice. Here’s 12 cans of 300ml for £15.25. Should keep you going for a while unless we have a REALLY bad winter. Don’t have enough space for 12 cans? Perhaps 2 500ml spray bottles might be a better and cheaper option at £6.17.

4. Shovel and Snowbrush 

A shovel is very handy if you get stuck in snow. This foldable AA Car Essentials Emergency Snow Shovel (£9.99) will tuck away inside your boot for when you need it. Alternatively, for shifting lots of snow this Neilsen Tools Aluminium Metal Snow Scoop Shovel (£16.99) is certainly the one. I have one myself. 

5. Torch

A torch will help you see on those dark winter evenings. Weather you’re out walking, cycling or you’re stuck somewhere. This NOVOSTELLA Rechargeable CREE LED Torch (£24.99) will not let you down. If you want something smaller this pocket sized Vansky Torch is perfect at £8.99.

6. Phone charger / Power Bank

You’ll need to stay up to date with the latest Snow Watch updates and communicatie with friends, family and emergency services so a phone charger is absolutely necessary. You can use your USB charger in your vehicle to keep devices powered however it’s always a good idea to have a backup with you. Most people these days carry around a power bank. We highly recommend this RAVPower Bank (£25.89) as it will charge several devices at the same time at least twice. This JETech Power Bank is great too and a fraction of the price (£12.94).

5. Decent footwear

Might be obvious to most but invest in a good pair of boots, or purchase some snow grips for £3.99.

6. High visibility vest

Make sure you’re seen at night if you breakdown or get caught up in traffic jam. This MyShoeStore Hi Vis Vest comes in Yellow or Orange and priced at £2.99, it isn’t going to break the bank.

7. Blankets

We referred to incidents at the beginning of this post where members of the public had to sleep in their cars. If it happens to you you’re going to need to stay warm. Consider keeping a couple of these Dreamscene PFTBK110 Throw Blanket in your car. £3.99.

8. Food and drink

Make a overnight stay in your car more bearable with a hot drink. This VonShef Vacuum Food and Drink Flask has some great reviews. £12.99.

Do you keep anything in your car during winter not on this list? Have we missed some essentials? Let us know and share some of your winter hacks on Twitter or Facebook. Don’t forget to tag us.