Why do you need a winter car kit?

Leaves are falling from the trees, the shops are filling up with Christmas gifts and it won’t be long until the winter weather is here. Don’t get caught out this winter – Now is the time to stock up on the essentials as you prepare your winter car kit.

Whilst your car may still have reminders of summer in it, such as sand in the boot or a stick of rock in the glove box, those long sunny nights are now a thing of the past and winter is well on the way.


Think about dark mornings, tricky road conditions, your car being covered in snow and even worse – what happens if you break down this winter? Are you prepared?

Here at Caversham Vehicle Hire we’ve put together some items that we consider essential parts of your winter car kit. These items could all be neatly placed in your boot for the duration of winter, or if you’re planning to hire a car, why not keep them all together in a basket in the garage or shed, ready to just pop into the boot when you get the vehicle.


What To Include In Your Winter Car Kit?


Some of the basics that are probably in your car most of the year around could come into their own this winter. A set of jump leads should be kept in the car in case your battery is flat. They can prove invaluable to get your car up and running and could save you hours of anguish.


A large bottle of screen wash is mandatory as the roads get dirtier. While you can use it diluted most of the year, in winter it’s a good idea to pour it in neat to keep your windscreen extra clean from all the mud, rain and sleet that could be coming your way.

Neat screen wash will work far better at removing hard to shift dirt from your windscreen and is also much less likely to freeze over. It’s important to always use a proper  screen wash opposed to just putting water in the bottle, as in the cold weather water will freeze your water jets up which can be a nightmare when you’ve got a dirty screen. It’s also a good idea to manually clean your windscreen wipers once a week to keep them from building up with dirt.


Spare fuses and bulbs can be kept in your car all year round but chances are you’ll be doing a lot more driving in the dark through those winter months and while you can get away with driving without headlights on until after 8pm in the middle of the summer, you could need your headlights, brake lights and fog lights working at any time of the day.

Fuses and bulbs are small enough to keep in your glove box and really are essential for the coming months – a fuse could pop meaning you can’t get in the boot of your car which could be a further nightmare if you’ve broken down and can’t get to other supplies. For this reason, keep them in the glovebox.


Another part of the winter car kit that could be kept in the glovebox or a door pocket is a small first aid kit. This is mainly for minor injuries and could include plasters, tissues, nail clippers, wet wipes, paracetamol etc. Anything that could be needed while driving that won’t cause you to have to pull into a service station.


On those frosty mornings when you leave the house in a hurry you’ll want to be able to easily put your hands on essential items to help get you moving so make an ice scraper and de-icer essential items in your winter car kit.

You may want to keep a spare pair of gloves with these items as de-icing a car is never a warm job – or why not keep some disposable hand warmers nearby to keep your mitts toasty after you’ve made sure all your windows and windscreens are clear?

Remember to store some spare bottles of water in your car and think about what happens if you were to break down and need to stay with the car while help is on the way. You’ll need a couple of spare blankets to keep warm or you could keep an old duvet in a bin bag in the car boot.


Keep some food in there too. A bag of flapjacks, sweets, dried fruit, nuts or energy bars could be kept in the car as part of your winter car kit throughout the whole of winter and will be just as good to eat in March as they would be in October. They could provide with you with just the pick-me-up you need on a long drive or if you’re stuck in traffic or the car just won’t move.


Some other items that you’re going to need are a decent road atlas – remember them? While you’ve relied on your trusty sat-nav to guide you around for the last few years, imagine if it stops working or can’t get a signal – that map could come in handy at any point.


A torch is handy for checking under the bonnet in the dark or for searching for items in car footwells and consider a tire inflator and/or tire weld to temporarily fix a flat tire and get you to a garage.


Other items that could be kept in the car could be a pair of sunglasses for those bright hazy winter mornings or for when the snow is heavy, a small shovel for digging away mud or snow and even a small bag of salt or grit to help get tires moving if you’ve parked on a hill.


Whether you’re commuting to work, driving on a daily basis, a weekend driver or simply doing the school run, having these items in car will give you peace of mind until spring comes.


So don’t delay, stock up now ready for those different winter scenarios and don’t get stuck out in the cold this winter.