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Top Winter Driving Tips UK

Posted on by Whitgift Hire Team

The winter solstice may well be behind us now – the days have started getting longer again, so summer has officially started crawling back! – but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the chilly clutches of winter just yet.

Winter Driving Tips UK

The worst of the winter weather is yet to come, with frost, gales and even snow expected throughout January and well into February.

Unfortunately, this poses a huge problem for drivers, especially those who only hire a vehicle and drive occasionally. As such, this month we’ll be sharing our top winter driving tips to keep you safe on the road this winter!

Plan Your Trips in Advance

To avoid the worst of the winter weather, you’ll need to plan all of your trips well in advance. If there has been greater rainfall in recent days, for instance, do you know an alternate route you could take if your regular route has flooded?

Your route should be as short as possible, but you should also stick to the main roads as these are more likely to have been cleared and gritted. In addition, make sure you let someone else the journey you’ll be making and when, just in case.

Prepare Your Vehicle

There are a number of steps you can take to ensure that your vehicle is winter ready. These include:

  • Checking the condition of your tyres, their pressure and tread depth
  • Clearing snow and ice from your windscreen, windows, lights and any snow on the roof of your car
  • Regularly filling your fuel tank to ensure it’s kept well fuelled

If there are any problems with your tyres, you should not drive your vehicle, especially in icy weather. When you hire a vehicle, you’ll likely be covered against this and will be able to call out someone to help, but otherwise you might need a dedicated breakdown service.

Similarly, you’ll use a lot more fuel in the winter to keep your car going. Warming your car up alone can eat away at the fuel, and if you’re stuck in traffic you’ll need all the warmth you can get!

Pack an Emergency Kit

Although they are especially useful on longer journeys, when the weather can get extreme you should always have an emergency kit in your vehicle, no matter how long the journey is. The things your emergency kit should contain include:

  • Tow ropes
  • A shovel
  • Hazard warning triangles
  • Fully charged mobile phone
  • First aid kit
  • Torches and spare batteries
  • De-icing equipment
  • Warm clothes, blankets and food rations

Take Your Time and Drive Carefully

In ice and snow, there is one rule of thumb you should always abide by: take it steady. If you have to be somewhere, leave earlier to give yourself plenty of time to arrive. You should avoid braking and accelerating quickly to reduce skidding and maintain control of your vehicle. If you’re in snowy conditions, pull off in a higher gear to avoid wheel spin.

Also, in wintery weather you should increase the distance you allow between your car and the one in front. Stopping distances can increase in such conditions by up to ten times, so you’ll need to give yourself ample room to manoeuvre if things go awry.


If you’re looking to hire a vehicle this winter, only the best vehicle will do. At Whitgift Hire, we understand the importance of having a well maintained vehicle you can rely on during the brisk winter season. As such, we have a fleet of over 400 exceptional vehicles – consisting of vans, cars and lorries – for clients to hire throughout London and the South East of England. No matter your requirements, we’ll be sure to have a vehicle that’s suitable for your needs across both commercial and domestic fields.

We are fully certified and accredited and offer a comprehensive breakdown cover for hires to ensure that, when you hire from us, you’re always in the safest hands. To discuss hiring a vehicle from Whitgift Hire, contact our friendly team today!

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