Making Sure you are Fully Prepared for the Cold Weather

Road accidents and vehicle breakdowns are more likely to occur during the winter months because of wet and icy roads, strong winds and reduced visibility from rain or snow. Since car parts have to work harder to deal with the harsh elements in the winter months they are more likely to break down.

You should make sure your vehicle is in good running condition and you should also dig out your car insurance policy every winter season and double check your levels of cover. As you know motorists are far more likely to have a bump or full blown accident when the roads are wet and icy, the skies dark grey and the moon is hidden in a thick carpet of low clouds. 

Accidents - If you are involved in an accident make sure if at all possible that you get the other drivers details. Car registration and colour, drivers name and if possible the drivers address. Also try to assertain who the other drivers motor insurance company is. Please remember that it will not help your case should you lie to the insurer when making a claim. They have heard it all before and most accidents occur in similar conditions and due to similar reasons to other accidents already investigated by insurers! They may not prosecute you for lying to them, but they will be far less inclined to help you through out the claim if they believe you are not being honest with them!

Be patient during the claims process, these things do not happen over night. If your car is declared a 'write off' you should realise and we say this as many motorists don't - the insurers pay-out is made on the basis of the car's value at the time of the accident and its general condition. Not what you paid for the car! That's why GAP insurance is becoming so popular here in the UK. Here are some things to have checked before you go driving in cold and snowy conditions. 

Tyres - Check the tread on your tyres. You should make sure they are inflated to the manufacturer's recommended pressure and that they have at least 3mm of tread depth. 

Battery - The usual lifespan for a battery is 2-4 years. Checks to make sure yours is fully charged and replace it if you have any doubts. 

Windscreen Wipers - Check the blades regularly to make sure there are no worn spots and if they are worn replace them immediately.

Lights - You should keep your lights free from snow, built-up spray and ice. You should also check the bulbs to make sure they are working at full light strength. 

Radiator - You should check and replace the anti-freeze in the radiator. 

Windows and Mirrors - Make sure your windows and mirrors are clean and smear- free. The lower light levels in winter can significantly reduce visibility. 

Emergency Kit - You should carry an emergency kit in your vehicle which includes:

  • Ice scraper and de-icer
  • Torch and first aid kit
  • Warm clothes, boots, and a blanket
  • Battery jump leads and a shovel
  • Food and drinks
  • Sunglasses to protect your eyes from winter glare
If you think ahead and prepare for the cold winter months; you will be able to overcome any obstacles that you may face in the cold and snow.
When buying car insurance consider the age of your car and its value. Car insurance does have a shortfall and that is why GAP insurance exists. We pay out the money your car insurer does not! That's your car depreciation since the purchase. Buy gap insurance to protect yourself from the losses new car owners experience due to depreciation. For a free no obligation quote visit or phone us on 0844 357 8300 (Maximum call charge from a BT land line is 5p a minute. Calls from other networks may vary)

Read the next Supermini blog in the series...

Copyright © 2012 Click4Gap

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily held by the Click4Group unless specifically stated. The material is for general information only. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.
use code MOB25