As the nights draw in, remember to spare a thought for your car. Preparing it for colder temperatures doesn’t just keep you safer on the road, it can help reduce the risk of a breakdown. With advice on how to make sure your car stays in tip-top condition over winter, is car insurance comparison site, mustard.co.uk.
Doesn’t my MOT prove my car is safe to drive?
Your car’s annual MOT ensures that it’s roadworthy but crucially, it only really proves it’s fit to drive at that point in time. Although your car might pass with flying colors, anything could happen afterward that could compromise your car’s safety.
With that in mind, it’s always sensible to give your car a once-over to ensure everything is in good working order. If not, you don’t just risk your own safety and that of others, you could end up with a hefty £2,500 fine and three penalty points for driving a car in a ‘dangerous condition’.
What car checks should I carry out this winter?
Checking your car shouldn’t be complicated, but if you don’t fancy doing it yourself, a number of garages offer winter car checks which cover all the essentials, for example:
- Lights and indicators – ensuring these are working as they should.
- Brakes and brake pads – checking these are not worn.
- Car fluids – making sure oil and transmission fluid are topped up using formulas that won’t cause them to thicken in cooler temperatures.
- Battery – older batteries can struggle to hold their charge in cold weather.
- Tyre pressure and tread – for optimum performance and grip.
- Windscreen and wipers – checking for chips that can lead to much larger cracks, and ensuring wipers do not smear.
What should I keep in my car for emergencies?
Hopefully, you won’t ever get caught in an emergency but being prepared for one can help you if you do. According to RoSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), a good emergency pack includes:
- Tow rope
- Warning triangle
- Deicing equipment
- Snacks and water
- Phone and phone charger
- First aid kit
How can I stay safe while driving on winter roads?
If the weather is bad, think carefully about whether you really need to travel. If you can, it’s advisable to sit it out and wait for it to pass. If you’ve got no alternative and have to head out onto the road, here’s what to consider to stay safe:
- Be aware that braking distances will increase significantly, so allow for more space between you and the car in front.
- Try to drive as smoothly as you can and avoid sudden braking, acceleration, and sharp movements with the steering wheel.
- Reduce your speed, especially on wet and icy roads.
- Take caution on rural roads, these are rarely gritted and can be treacherous, particularly when approaching bends as visibility is often poor. Snow can also hide deep ditches so be careful along the edges of roads and paths.
Compare car insurance with breakdown cover
Car insurance is a safety net that can help cover costs if your car is damaged in an accident, but optional extras like car breakdown cover can be equally valuable.
Depending on the policy you choose, breakdown cover doesn’t just provide you with help at the roadside, providers can also help you with your onward journey. Policies can also cover the cost of overnight accommodation and arrange for your car to be taken to a garage convenient to you. What’s more, when you add breakdown cover, it usually costs a fraction of what you’d pay if you needed to make all these arrangements yourself.
To see what’s on offer, why not head to mustard.co.uk, where you can compare quotes from a range of leading car insurance providers? Plus, their Cheapest Price Guarantee* is a promise to beat any other online quote. You can start your search online or speak to an expert on 0330 022 8812.
* T&Cs apply. See mustard.co.uk for details.