With temperatures dropping across the UK this week, roads are becoming icier and more treacherous. In response, Europcar, the leader in car hire services in Europe, is urging motorists to think about hiring a car instead of driving their own vehicle, for extra peace of mind.
“Driving conditions are more challenging during colder weather, with the risk of snow, fog and ice”, explained Ken McCall, Managing Director, Europcar UK Group. “That’s why it’s more important than ever to be driving a car in which you have confidence.
“We are, therefore, encouraging people doing longer journeys over the winter months to think about car hire from Europcar. It offers travellers the assurance that they are in a reliable vehicle that has been fully maintained with all essential items, such as tyres, regularly checked. Plus Europcar vehicles are fully covered by 24 hour roadside assistance, at no extra cost.”
Europcar vehicles are also de-iced and checked before being handed over to customers in the winter. And a member of staff helps customers familiarise themselves with the vehicle’s controls, ensuring they are confident with the car in all conditions. Plus Europcar customers can hire a sat nav to help them navigate unknown roads and choose the best route, also particularly useful if they are driving in wintry conditions.
“Our goal at Europcar is to give motorists the very best quality vehicles, ensuring they can drive confidently and safely in any weather”, concludes Ken McCall. “We are, therefore, well prepared for the next few weeks with good availability of vehicles right across the country.”
Europcar has also compiled a handy checklist of tips for motorists to keep safe when out on the roads.
Europcar’s Winter Driving Advice
· Allow plenty of time for journeys in case you have to take a longer route
· Slow down in icy conditions to compensate for diminished control and increased braking distances. Speed limits are set for optimum conditions; in difficult conditions, they can often be too fast.
· Control skids by releasing the accelerator and not touching the brakes. Instead turn into the skid and don’t accelerate until you feel some control return.
· Beware shady roads. They may be hiding icy conditions, as can bridges and overpasses.
· Leave a bigger gap between yourself and the vehicle in front. In some icy conditions you may need up to ten times the normal braking distance.
· Remember your sunglasses to avoid the glare from low winter sun.
· Ensure your vehicle is well-ventilated as a car heater turned to full can make the driver drowsy.
· Watch out for fog and use fog lights when needed, but also ensure these are switched off when no longer required.
· Be extra vigilant when looking for pedestrians and cyclists as they may be less visible.
· When snowing, use dipped headlights as visibility can be reduced.