Now the clocks have gone back and the nights are drawing in, it really feels like winter is approaching in the UK – and it’s therefore time to think about winter car accessories!
While we appreciate that long-term weather forecasts are often highly inaccurate, it’s best to be prepared. This year, multiple reports have suggested that cold weather could bite long before Christmas – complete with frost and snow.
The UK’s busy roads are not a fun place to find yourself stuck due to a breakdown, especially in the cold and dark, so it’s important to keep your vehicle well maintained to minimise the chance of this happening to you. However well you take care of these things, it’s wise to remember that the RAC alone attended nearly 2.5 Million breakdowns last year, so it can happen to anyone.
As such, we’ve chosen a set of car accessories that make winter motoring a little easier, and help get you out of trouble should it come and find you on the roads.
1. An all-in-one winter car kit
This all-in-one kit contains all the basics for winter driving, and would also make a good gift for someone who often has to take to the roads during the UK’s cold season.
It includes de-icer spray, a de-misting pad, screenwash and a scraper, to get you going on those frosty mornings, and a foil blanket, gloves, torch and first aid kit in case you ever end up broken down in the cold.
While you’ll undoubtedly find better individual products than some of those included in this kit elsewhere (including further down this list), the kit covers all the main basics. As such, if you’re only going to choose one of these winter car accessories to carry around with you, this is the best of the bunch.
- Contains all the basis.
- Makes a great gift for motorists.
- De-icer won’t last the whole season for high-mileage drivers.
2. A way to keep your car looked after through the winter
There are plenty of good reasons to invest in a car cover. If you don’t have a garage you may wish to protect your car from the elements while it’s parked outside. Or, perhaps you have a second vehicle (a convertible, maybe?) that you wish to store away over the winter. In the latter case, you may wish to consider using a cover for extra protection, even if the car is in a garage.
The Maypole cover is well reviewed and water-resistant, and easy to fit thanks to an elasticated hem.
It is well worth checking which size to order. We’ve linked to a medium, but you’ll find other options for smaller and larger cars over on Amazon. It’s obviously best to go for the snuggest fit for your vehicle.
- A cheap way to protect your car from the winter elements.
- Available in a range of sizes.
- Stops frost BUT important to note it is water resistant, and not water proof!
3. The best de-icer on the market?
Waiting with chattering teeth until the car’s ready to safely drive away in the morning is a hallmark of the British winter, but the ritual gets old fast!
It’s for this reason that we’ve recommended this specific de-icer brand within our roundup of the best winter car accessories. It turns out de-icers are far from equal, and this one receives rave reviews on Amazon.
It’s fast to work, goes a long way, and doesn’t leave residue that requires you to get back out of the car once again for a final “clear and scrape.”
This three-pack is great value and should last through a cold winter for most drivers. A far better choice than grabbing a cheap can in a supermarket.
- Works down to -25 Celsius!
- Best reviews of any de-icer we found.
4. One to demist your windows
This is the most logical follow-on to de-icer. Why? Well, let’s consider the normal winter morning routine:
Engine on; heater and fan on; spray the de-icer; scrape as required. Then, what usually happens during this time is that one or more people jump in the car to keep warm, and by the time the windows are de-iced externally, they’re fogged up internally.
Therefore, everyone needs a demist pad in the door pocket to help ensure a swift departure. These pads are well reviewed, made of faux-chamois leather and economical. Best of all, they don’t require you to use your coatsleeves as an alternative!
- Leave few smears.
- Nothing of note.
5. An investment to get you out of trouble
According to The AA, battery problems are by “far and away” the most common reason for breakdown call-outs over the winter months. By buying one of these, you could save both a call-out and a wait on the roadside.
This gadget’s core function is to jump start your engine, and it works on engines of up to 6.5ltr or 5.2ltr (petrol and diesel, respectively). There are also loads of supplementary safety functions.
These include an integrated compass, a torch with various functions, and a secondary charging function for smartphones and laptops. If you think you may need to fend for yourself over winter, especially in a remote location, placing one of these “do it all” gadgets in the glovebox will buy you plenty of peace of mind.
- Many features.
- Well reviewed.
- Very compact – fits in glove compartment.
- Extra adaptor required for cigarette lighter power.
Before you set out onto the winter roads, we’ve also produced a winter driving tips guide, which you’ll find here.