Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
2:00 PM 8th February 2024

6 Must-Have Items For Your Vehicle That Could Save You Thousands

Image credit: Right Fuel Card
Image credit: Right Fuel Card
With continuous weather warnings across the UK and snow hitting parts of England, this season not only brings about colder weather, but also an increased risk of breakdowns and accidents on the road, so it’s important that both you and your vehicle are well-prepared to take on the harsher weather conditions.

With common risks such as ice, darkness and cold temperatures posing additional challenges to drivers, David James, Sales Director at fuel card provider, Right Fuel Card, has shared six must-have items for your vehicle checklist this winter:

1. Scraper and de-icer

It’s essential to ensure that your vehicle is clear of ice, snow, and condensation before you set off on a journey. Not only will this allow you to have a clear vision of the road ahead, but could also save you money as driving without clearing snow on the windscreen, roof or on car lights and registration plates can incur fines of up to £4,500.

An ice-scraper and de-icer are the most efficient tools for clearing the ice off your vehicle. Alternatively, if you find that your de-icer can sometimes leave a residue on your windscreen, you can make your own DIY spray by mixing a teaspoon of salt and water into an empty spray bottle instead.

Completely avoid using hot or even warm water on your windows, as this can cause them to crack due to the difference in temperature.

To prevent condensation, ensure that your windows are clean inside and out as moisture tends to cling onto any dirt.

2. Torch and spare batteries

Having a torch and spare batteries can be invaluable if you were to need assistance in the dark. Without any light, breakdowns can be very frightening and dangerous, so have a torch handy so you’re able to see clearer, and also signal for help if needed.

3. Empty fuel can

Preparation is key for any journey. Having an empty fuel can in your vehicle is essential as you can retrieve fuel from the nearest petrol station, allowing you to get back on the move quickly and smoothly.

4. Food and drink

During the winter months, traffic delays are common because of snow, rain, or a bad-weather collision.

It’s useful to have snacks in your vehicle in case you end up waiting a long time for help. Breakdowns are sometimes unavoidable and by having a flask with a hot drink in your vehicle, you can stay warm until help arrives.

5. Warm clothes, waterproofs and high-visibility jacket

If your vehicle breaks down on the road, staying inside your vehicle can be dangerous.

Having extra clothes, waterproofs or a high-visibility jacket will allow you to remain warm, dry and visible whilst awaiting assistance in harsher and darker winter conditions.

6. Mobile phone and power bank

We recommend that you always keep a fully charged mobile phone and power bank in your vehicle so that you can update your friends, family or work colleagues of any delays to your journey. This will also be essential if you need to call for help in an emergency.

Alternatively, if you do breakdown somewhere with no phone signal, then you’ll need to locate the nearest emergency phone.

David explains:
"When it comes to driving safely this season, it’s all about adjusting your driving habits.

"Many of the items listed are for safety measures, however as the driver of the vehicle, you are responsible for your safety where possible, which can in turn, save you up to £10,000 per mistake in fines.

"Driving carelessly comes at a high price , both safety-wise and financially. Not only does this increase the risk of collisions, but it can put you out of pocket and in more serious instances, can lead to disqualification and even prosecution.

"It’s important to take extra care, ensuring that you are braking in good time to prevent the vehicle from sliding further than you anticipate as braking distances can double in these harsher road conditions.

“Prevention is always better than cure, so where possible, it’s important that you plan your journey ahead of time and preempt any possible risks to your route.

“Although we recommend these items, this checklist is far from limited and other useful items that can be added to your list include a first aid kit, a shovel and an emergency tire sealant.

“To avoid breakdowns this season, we recommend that your vehicle is regularly serviced to ensure that it remains in good working condition to work to its best ability through the freezing temperatures that are on the forecast.“

For more driving tips, click here