7 things to keep in your car during winter

Road gritters at Wirral Salt Dome

Has your ever car broke down in winter? If so, you probably wished you had a snack, or a blanket to keep warm while you waited for the recovery truck to arrive.

We’ve made a list of seven essential things to keep in your car during winter (and the whole year round) so you’re prepared to take on the elements.

1. Ice scraper and screenwash

A clear view of the road is essential all-year-round but that can become a little bit difficult during the colder months, that’s why an ice scraper and screen wash should be part of your winter driving kit.

While it doesn’t always snow in Britain, windscreens often get frosty when temperatures plummet, so, it’s best to keep an ice scraper handy to remove frost without damaging any glass. You can even buy one that heats up in case you’re in a hurry.

Rain, slush, and gritted roads can throw a lot of dirt up onto your windscreen, and sometimes regular water isn’t enough to clean it. Keep your car topped up with screen wash so you can see the roads clearly, especially if it is icy or wet. Look out for screenwash with antifreeze properties to avoid the solution freezing when it’s mixed with water. Screenwash can also be found at most petrol stations.

2. Anti-freeze

Antifreeze can be bought at most petrol stations and is essential to the running of your car during winter. Antifreeze prevents the water in your car’s engine from freezing and bursting the pipes. It’s easy to check your antifreeze levels, so having some handy wouldn’t go amiss in case your levels are getting low.

3. Warm blankets and clothing

Warm blankets and extra layers of clothing are a must.

If your car breaks down, it’s good to have a couple of blankets to keep you warm while you wait for breakdown services to arrive. You could also pack a spare jumper and a hat and scarf in your car in case it gets colder than you planned for. Or you could just use the extra layers to keep warm while your car’s heating kicks in after you turn on your engine.

4. Breakdown recovery number

The contact number for a breakdown recovery service is handy all year round, especially in winter.

If your car breaks down in an area with poor phone service, you won’t be able to google a number to help you out. And what if your phone battery dies too? Using an in-car charger and writing down the number on a piece of paper could help you to call breakdown services sooner. If you break down in winter, the sooner you can call breakdown services, the better, as you don’t want to sit in a cold car for too long.

5. Food and drink

A small selection of snacks can be more important than anything.

If there’s been an accident on an icy road, you could be stuck there for a while. Consider keeping some non-perishable food and a few bottles of water in your car to keep you going, especially if you’re on a long journey. If youhave to pay extra attention to the driving conditions, /the snacks can be a good way to keep children occupied so you can concentrate on road.

6. Rock salt

Rock salt is used to grit roads to prevent them from getting iced over, so it could be handy to keep a small bag of it in your boot. If you live in a residential area, there’s a chance that local roads will not be gritted regularly. You should keep some rock salt on hand to grit any slippery driveways and roads to prevent you, or someone else, from having an accident.

7. Tow rope 

It’s a good idea to have a tow rope in cold weather conditions.

Whether your car breaks down or you end up sliding due to ice on the road, and end up stuck in mud, or down a ditch, having a tow rope will be invaluable to help you out. And the same is true in reverse; if someone you know gets stuck, you can arrive with your tow rope ready and prepared to help.

Want to stay safe during dark drives in winter? Follow our five tips.


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