Driving in Winter: 5 Top Tips for Safe Car Hire

Driving in winter brings its own special hazards: Poor visibility, heavy rain, strong winds, ice, snow, and plunging temperatures all mean you need to drive with extra caution. Keep everyone safe the next time you rent a car in winter by following our simple tips:

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Prepare for your journey

Check the latest traffic reports issued by local agencies, such as the AA in the U.K. and Ireland, to make sure the route you’re planning to take is free of traffic hazards such as floods, ice, or fallen trees. Make sure your windscreen and lights are clean for maximum visibility.

Check your tyres

Ensure that the depth of your tyres’ tread is above the legal minimum of 1.6mm across the central ¾ of the tyre, around the whole circumference. Tyre pressures should be monitored fortnightly and before a long journey. Check the pressure when the tyres are cold and use the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended level. While you’re at it, inspect the tyres for any signs of damage.

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Check your antifreeze

Damage to your car’s radiator could result in big bills from your car hire supplier. If you want to prevent your rental car’s radiator from cracking and leaking due to frozen water, ensure the antifreeze is topped up.

Pack an emergency kit

If you’re setting out in wintry conditions, you are advised to bring the following:

  • Extra warm clothes and a blanket

  • Ice scraper and de-icer

  • Torch and spare batteries

  • First aid kit

  • Jump leads

  • Mobile phone charger

  • Food and a warm drink in a vacuum flask

  • A shovel

  • Reflective warning sign

  • Road map

  • Sunglasses, to reduce the glare from snow

Snow chains/tyres

If you are heading overseas, check your destination’s requirements and guidelines regarding snow chains and snow tyres. Snow chains act in a similar way to snowshoes, providing extra traction for your wheels to keep you on the road and stop you getting stuck in a snowdrift. Countries where it is compulsory to have your vehicle equipped with snow tyres in winter include Germany, Austria, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Sweden. Ask your car hire supplier about requirements and rates when booking your rental car in winter.

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Wherever you want to go this year, check out Nova Car Hire. We have more than 26,000 locations to choose from, so you’re sure to find one suitable for winter driving!



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