With weather forecasters predicting one of the coldest
winters on record and the ski season just around the corner, car hire
is warning customers not to be complacent about
driving in potentially treacherous snow and ice.
Doug Scott, managing director of carrentals.co.uk, said: “Winter driving can
be difficult and dangerous, with bad conditions on the roads often worsened
by inexperienced, unprepared drivers. In the UK most drivers simply don’t
have the practice of driving in demanding winter conditions, and this can
put both themselves and other drivers in danger.”
The warning comes at a time when a growing number of winter sport
enthusiasts are opting to book an independent ski break, combining low-cost
flights and car hire to their ski resort. Carrentals.co.uk ski car hire
bookings are already showing growth of 20 per cent year on year, with most
British drivers having driven fewer miles in snow than they did when they
learnt to drive.
Scott added: “With a growing number of customers now hiring a car for ski
holidays, and with the winter weather warnings, we would advise all drivers
to learn more about the do’s and don’ts of driving in snowy conditions.
Many of our tips are just common sense, but all of them are important for
the safety of our customers and other drivers.”
carrentals.co.uk winter driving tips -
1) Slow Down - carrentals.co.uk would advise tripling the distance you
usually leave between your car and the one ahead.
2) Buckle Up - It is the law in most countries, but do remember to always
wear your seatbelt in the front - and in the back if you have them - of the
3) Light Up - Keep your headlights on dipped and be seen. Be careful using
fog lights or full beam in heavy snow, as they will create glare.
4) Snow Chains - Book your snow chains when you book your hire car to ensure
you’re covered. It’s also worth practising putting them on and taking them
off during the day, rather than waiting until you may need them at night.
5) Top Gears - Reduce the risk of sliding and wheel spin, particularly when
pulling away or going uphill, by putting the car into a higher gear than you
would for normal dry conditions. For example, pulling away in 2nd gear can
help on ice or packed snow.
6) Smooth Cornering - On corners slow down well before you normally would
and ensure your speed is low enough to ensure you don’t lose traction. You
should also avoid any sharp steering movements that may cause the car to
7) Anticipate Braking - The best way to avoid a skid is to anticipate
braking - any sudden, unplanned braking will make the car skid on snow or
ice. To brake, gradually alternate engine braking with pedal braking to
avoid the locking of wheels. If the wheels lock when you brake and the car
starts to slide release the brake pedal to help recover traction, then brake
again slowly while also braking with the engine.
8) Car Essentials - In bad conditions always consider if your journey is
essential, but if you do need to travel, try to make sure you have a
blanket, torch, mobile phone, shovel and some chocolate and a hot drink in
9) Skid recovery - If your car starts to skid don’t go for the brakes. Take
your foot off the accelerator and steer into the direction of the skid until
the car is under control - again make sure you steer with smooth, not
10) Snow Go - If your car gets stuck in snow don’t continue spinning your
wheels - it will just be harder to get out of the rut. Spread sand or salt
around the wheels to give them grip - or remove snow from around the wheels
to create a clear run onto the road.