Are you ready for the winter weather?

With winter quickly approaching, we're all preparing for the snow and ice to strike! Hopefully we won't be faced with severe weather we've had in previous years, however when the cold and icy weather does begin to set in, many motorists lose their confidence and are frightened to get behind the wheel.

At Vantage we understand these fears and want to ensure that you feel as comfortable as possible when faced with snowy or icy weather. Take a look at our tips below so that you're aware how to drive in these conditions.

Before you set off on your journey:

  • The night before, try to cover your car windscreen with a sheet or specially designed car cover to stop it from icing over. This will save you time in the morning and avoid rushing.
  • Before you set off, ensure you clear any snow from your roof so it doesn't slide down onto the windscreen and block your view.
  • Ensure your windscreen washer fluid is topped up. You will use this fluid to help clear your windscreen.
  • Ensure your air conditioning system is working efficiently. An efficient air con system will help you to demist your windscreen and reduce condensation.
  • Make sure that your front and rear lights are clear so that other road users can see your signals and lights.
  • Consider changing your regular tyres to winter tyres. You can find out more about winter tyres here.
  • Try to pack your car with an emergency snow kit. You could include warm clothing, a blanket, non perishable food, water or a hot flask, a torch and possibly even a snow shovel.
  • Always carry a fully charged phone.

If you do get stuck in the winter weather and need to stay warm you can stay inside the car and run the engine. However, it's extremely important to ensure the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow as this allows engine fumes to escape. If these fumes can't escape you could allow carbon monoxide gas into the car which is highly toxic.

Once you're on the roads:

  • Wear comfortable and dry shoes as snow covered boots may slip on the pedals.
  • Pull away in second gear, easing your foot off the clutch slowly to reduce any wheelspin.
  • Try to leave a 10 second gap between yourself and the car in front of you. Your stopping distance is significantly increased when the roads are wet or icy.
  • Ensure you use your headlights when visibility is reduced. If visibility is drastically reduced you could also use your rear fog lights however you must ensure these are off once visibility is restored as they may dazzle other drivers or obscure your brake lights.
  • Your anti-lock braking system can often be felt activating with a vibration on your brake pedal. Be aware of this as it may indicate slippery conditions.
  • To avoid skidding you must drive gently and avoid harsh acceleration, sudden braking or abrupt downward gear changes and steering movements.
  • When you're driving either driving uphill or downhill, wait until it is clear of other road users or leave plenty of room between you and the car in front to ensure you don’t have to stop halfway on the hill. Keep a constant speed and choose the most suitable gear well in advance to avoid having to change whilst driving up the hill.

Most importantly, pay attention to the roads. Try to watch the behaviour of other road users, especially oncoming traffic, as if they get into difficulty on the roads you will be in a much better position to avoid them. Remember, ice is often invisible so pay attention to the road conditions and be aware of where ice may be. 

We really hope you find our tips helpful and hope you have a safe and enjoyable winter. We'd really ensure our tips are beneficial to our customers, so if you think we've missed something really important please don't hesitate to get in touch by emailing We'd love to hear from you!