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Chloe Martell profile

Chloe Martell

December 12, 2018

Driving advice 5 min read

If you’re heading home for Christmas, you may be wondering what you can do with all the freedom of the holiday! Why not think about getting behind the wheel?  Driving and planning road trips can be a great way to catch up with friends and family over the festive period. Driving at Christmas isn’t all fun and games, however, and it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for the journeys ahead – because no one wants to break down at Christmas! Here are our top 7 tips to see you driving safely into the New Year.

1

Make a list… and check it twice!

You’ve made lists for pretty much everything else this Christmas, from who is getting what gift, to adding your favourite festive snacks onto the food shop – but what about an emergency car checklist? This will be the best way to prepare for a winter breakdown! Why not consider picking up and keeping this lot in your car?

  • Ice scraper
  • Warm clothes
  • Bottled water and energy bars
  • Torch and spare batteries
  • Phone charger
  • Blanket
  • First aid kit
  • Jump leads

via GIPHY

2

Fuel it up!

Just like you, your car is going to probably need some extra fuel this Christmas. Make sure you keep your tank topped up over a quarter of a tank and remember to make regular stops to put fuel in. This will mean if you do break down – you’ll have enough fuel to get you going again! It also means you won’t be caught short when you remember your local garage closes early on Christmas Eve!
3

Re-charging your batteries

The cold weather means we’re all likely to use our car a little more – whether that’s putting the lights on earlier in the day, or running the heater for a longer period of time. All of these things can wear down your car battery – but there are a few ways to avoid a flat battery this Christmas.

  • How old is it? Batteries often don’t last for longer than 5 years. Is it time yours in replaced?
  • Test your battery regularly to see when it’s running low

via GIPHY

4

Dreaming of a white Christmas

In the unlikely event that we’ll wake up on Christmas morning to fresh blankets of white snow, it’s worth remembering that driving in the snow isn’t the most magical part of Christmas, and can actually be quite dangerous. You can check out our top tips on driving in the snow and ice here, but try to remember these key points:

  • If you feel like you’re starting to slide, steer into it
  • Slow and steady throughout your whole journey
  • Pull away in second gear to increase grip on the roads
  • Brake gently. If you start to slide, take your foot off the brake completely
5

Time to de-ice

Because there is nothing more pleasant than walking out to a frozen windscreen early on a cold morning – make sure you follow these tips to de-ice your car and be ready to face the day!

  • Never use boiling water – it can crack your windscreen
  • Never use metal to scrape away the ice
  • Clear all windows of ice (and mirrors!), and your roof of snow

via GIPHY

6

Get your screenwash

Being able to see when driving is crucial – and this doesn’t change in winter. Make sure your screenwash is topped up at all times. Usually, a 50/50 mix of screenwash and water does the trick, however, in winter you can pick up a pre-mixed option that has anti-freeze in. Winner winner!
7

Plan ahead of time

Make Christmas driving less stressful by planning out your routes (including alternative routes). Don’t forget to also give yourself more time. Getting from A to B can take a lot longer this time of year, and the harsh conditions mean this can take longer than usual.

Remember: If the weather outside if particularly bad, make sure you ask yourself if the drive is worth the risk. If it isn’t? Stay at home and put on a Christmas film!

We’ve got plenty more driving tips over on our Winter Driving Guide – which will give you everything from prepping your car, to dealing with wind and rain. If you’re heading out on the roads this Christmas, remember to stay safe and drive with caution.

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Chloe Martell profile

By Chloe Martell

'As a new driver, I'm so eager to share my driving journey with you all - from when I was a learner, going through my test and all the aspects of my driving life now, including my love of cars!'  See more posts by Chloe

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