Winter Essentials while on the road

Winter is here! But what should you keep in your car in case of a winter breakdown?

Here is a checklist for your own winter survival kit for your car.

Winter Essentials while on the road

Winter Essentials

Here is a checklist of the items you should always keep in your car over winter:


1) Ice scraper and de-icer

Waking up in the morning to find your car frozen over! Make sure you always carry an ice-scraper and de-icer so you can effectively defrost your windscreen. If you do not remove snow and ice properly, you could get £100 fine and 3 points on your licence.

2) Torch and spare batteries

long nights in winter potentially means getting in and out of your car in the dark. Keep a torch handy to avoid any trips and falls.

If you break down, you will need to find a safe place to wait for assistance. A torch will help light your way.

3) A fully charged mobile phone

If you are delayed because of bad weather (or a weather-related incident), it is a good idea to let your loved ones know as it will save them worrying and stop any distracting texts and phone calls,

*remember* do not to use a handheld phone while driving. Pull into a safe rest stop to make a call or ask a passenger to do it for you.

4) An in-car phone charger or power pack

In an emergency, the last thing you want is a dead phone battery. This can mean it’s even harder to contact assistance or let people know of your situation. Carrying a power pack or charger will make sure you are always connected to help or information. 

5) Sat-nav & printed route for an unfamiliar journey

Getting lost in the dark on unfamiliar roads is a stressful situation and dealing with a sat nav could distract you from driving, so planning ahead is the best option to ensure you are prepared for any eventuality on your journey.

6) A road atlas

In case there are any diversions and no GPS signal on your sat nav, a road atlas will help you plan a new route.

7) Sunglasses

Sunglasses on a winter checklist!? I hear you say. But actually, the low sun in winter can cause glare and dazzle drivers. Keep your sunglasses in the car to make sure your vision is not affected.

8) First aid kit

It is a good idea to always keep a first aid kit in your car. The British Standards Institution has guidelines on what to include like sterile wipes, plasters, dressings and scissors to treat minor wounds. A good kit should include all of these.

9) Empty fuel can

You will be surprised how many breakdowns are caused by running out of fuel. If you keep an empty fuel can in your car, then you will be able to find a filling station for a top up if you do run out.


Winter Emergency kit list

When there are severe weather warnings you cannot always avoid the need to drive, but there are a few extra things you can keep in your car to make sure you stay safe. Winter is the time when it is more likely you will get caught in traffic or break down in bad weather.

Below is a checklist of what to keep in your car if there’s severe weather or snow –

1)Warm clothes and waterproofs

During a break down, you will need to get out of the car to stay safe. That means taking extra clothes to keep warm against the cold.

2) Sturdy footwear

Whether you are driving down a country lane or a motorway verge, conditions outside the vehicle could be slippery. Hardwearing shoes with good grip will help you get to a safe place away from the car if you break down. 

3) A flask of hot drink

There is nothing like a hot drink to warm the coggles. Prepare a flask with a hot drink and it will help you to keep you warm while you wait for assistance. 

4) Snacks

If you are caught in traffic because of bad weather or a bad-weather collision, you might need to wait for an extended period of time. Snacks will help keep your energy and concentration levels up 

5) Hi-vis jacket

There are less daylight hours during winter. Darkness together with a chance of rain, snow and fog means your visibility could be hindered. A hi-vis fluorescent jacket will make you clearer to see to other people/vehicles if you find yourself in a situation where you need to stand outside your car.

6) Warning triangles

Reflective warning triangles will make you more visible if you break down as well as warn other drivers that there is a broken-down vehicle ahead. This will give them a chance to slow down before they reach you.

*CAUTION*, do not put a warning triangle on the hard shoulder if you are on a motorway – it is not safe. If you are on a road and it is safe, you can put a warning triangle at least 45m (50 yards) behind your vehicle and one in front of your vehicle.

7) Jump leads

Flat batteries are more likely in winter as the cold affect’s batteries. Plus, there are more times in winter that your car might sit for longer periods than usual without being driven if you are busy at home during the holidays

Most of the time, a flat battery can get going again with a jump start from a fellow driver. This is where jump leads come in handy.

8. Shovel

If there's deep snow or your stuck in mud, you may need to dig your wheels out, so a shovel could come in handy.


It is important to ask yourself during severe weather, do I need to leave the house? If conditions outside are more dangerous, you should avoid driving and find a safer alternative if you can.