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Tips for Staying Safe on Winter Roads

Posted on by Whitgift Hire Team

Driving at any time of year requires concentration and a well-equipped vehicle, but driving in winter presents an additional list of challenges. It is imperative to prioritise the safety of yourself and others when driving in winter conditions and follow safety advice.

Whether you are driving in a hire van or your own car, there are many ways to keep yourself and your vehicle safe, in addition to applying basic common sense. The following tips are designed to help you safely enjoy your driving experience and minimise the risk of experiencing a car breakdown during winter.



Antifreeze is cheap to buy and can save you from large bills for costly repairs. A vehicle subjected to freezing temperatures during winter can suffer from a range of damaging issues, including cracked radiators, and frozen water pumps. Some simple rules for antifreeze include:

-Prepare antifreeze to the correct mix strength
-Check which style and brand of antifreeze is best suited to your vehicle
-Establish how long your antifreeze mix will remain efficient


In the UK there is no legal requirement to use snow tyres. If you are travelling to Europe, some countries will insist that snow tyres or chains are fitted. Checking that your tyre tread is sufficient and that your tyre pressures are correct are sensible precautions. If you are using snow chains on your tyres, ensure that these are removed before driving on roads without significant snow coverage. All season tyres may offer you further security on winter roads.



Care needs to be taken not to exhaust car batteries prematurely, particularly in winter. Sensible routines that will help your battery remain charged and functional include:

-Turning off lights and fans when appropriate
-Temporarily adding a trickle charge to your battery from a mains source
-If your car fails to start immediately, letting the battery rest for a minute, before trying to start the engine again


Simple tasks can significantly improve your visibility, and ultimately, your safety. Some sensible precautions that should be adhered to throughout winter should include:

-Keeping all glass windows clean with regular external wiping and using internal fans
-Keeping headlights wiped for maximum efficiency
-Checking window washing fluid levels remain topped up
-Keeping sunglasses in the vehicle for driving in low winter sun
-Wiping snow from roofs, windows and headlights before commencing a journey
-Using headlights and fog-lights appropriately


General basic sensible precautions include:

-Wearing sensible footwear
-Leaving additional time for journeys
-Choosing major treated routes
-Allowing the vehicle to fully defrost before departure
-Carrying a blanket, emergency food, water and warm clothing

Whitgift Hire are the leading providers of van hire services in the Croydon and wider London area. Our fleet of over 400 modern vehicles are available with unlimited mileage, breakdown cover and with a hire package to suit any budget.

Get in touch today to find out more.


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