Serious snowfall is very rare in the UK, and so when it comes, we are never prepared.

Such an example is the winter of 1947, in which from January 22nd to March 17th snow fell every day somewhere in the UK. We haven’t had snowfall like it since. Such is the disruption and mayhem that snow causes, it’s a natural newspaper seller. People love a snow story. So it’s of little surprise that this year, there’s been reports that we’ll face the coldest winter in 50 years. But not only that – months of snowfall and bitter Arctic winds that’ll close our roads and bring utter misery up and down the country.
Snow and heavy rain across Midlothian and the Borders of Scotland wreaked havoc earlier this week and 6-8 inches of snow was dumped on the base of Glencoe in under 3 hours on the 29th November. Of course snow at this time of the year in Scotland is nothing new, but it has offered a glimpse of what we could all expect if the Met’s predictions come true.The reports we speak of are those from the Express, Mirror and Telegraph. They have jumped on Met Office (yeah, because they’re so reliable,) meteorologist reports that winter conditions could mirror those of the 2009/2010 winter and bring transport chaos. But in a rare turn of events for weather predictions, some of this is coming true.

Preparing for winter

Regardless of your own thoughts on the accuracy of the weatherman, we recommend you prepare your car for winter – or more specifically, snow.

We wrote a really handy guide on the best winter tyres of 2015/16 the other week for those of you who are yet to choose a set. The benefit to winter tyres is shorter braking distances and improved handling on snow, slush and wet surfaces. They are also far more effective at temperatures below 5 Celsius than summer or all-season tyres.

It’s also important to remember that colder temperatures affect performance and economy, as we have discussed previously. In that particular article, we listed some top tips for winter driving that still stand true today. Here’s some new ones for you to work against:

  • Check that your battery is healthy.
  • Check that your oil level is satisfactory and that it’s clean.
  • Keep your windscreen wash topped up with the correct ratio of solution-to-water.
  • Keep a spare set of headlight bulbs in your car.
  • Keep a can of antifreeze in your car and an ice scraper.
  • If you do not have a spare tyre or a puncture kit, buy a puncture kit.
  • Do not leave your car idling to heat it up; drive away to do that.
  • Turn off start/stop until your engine is at a sufficient temperature.

Here’s another tip for those of you who are affected by condensation inside your car – buy one of these (in the image above) off eBay and keep it in your centre console or on your dashboard. It will absorb the moisture inside your car to minimise condensation build up. This will minimise the need for you to use your heater and thus minimise the strain put on your battery.