3 Tips for Winter Car Hire!
Winter car hire can be slightly different to hiring a car in the summer months or in a country with a more tropical climate, carry on reading to find out what you need to know!
Prep your car
You need to make sure your car is well prepared for your journeys whilst you’re out and about, wherever your travels may take you. Your destination will determine whether or not you need snow tyres, as in some countries it is compulsory to have winter tyres whereas in other countries you need not change the tyres.
Check your car has an anti-lock braking system. It can help secure your car from sliding out of control. It helps, but doesn’t fully prevent your car from skidding. Braking on a corner can be difficult in the icy conditions and anti-lock braking can be a real life saver here too.
Check you know where your spare tyre is and that you’re confident that you could change it, if the situation arose.
Check that you’re always travelling with much more fuel than what your journey will require, you may be sat stationary at times and the last thing you want in a cooler climate is to be sat in the cold with no way of getting back to your cosy chalet or hotel room.
With the weather being somewhat unpredictable in the colder countries, you need enough washer fluid so that if your screen gets covered you’re able to clear it and clean it up effectively.
Adjust your technique
You may have a lot of experience driving but make sure you slow down when driving around if the roads are prone to ice & snow. The country you’re travelling in will be used to this and will try keep the roads in a condition in such that it’s driveable but still keep your speed down and be more wary of how you’re driving.
Change your technique and make sure you think! Stopping distances on icier roads could be as much as 3x times longer as the normal stopping distance for your vehicle. It also should go without saying but don’t try overtake in icy conditions, it’s dangerous and getting ahead of one car really isn’t worth the danger it could cause.
Roadside assistance is key! Take down the number of the roadside assistance used by your hire car company in the country you’re visiting or ask them for recommendations if they don’t use just one specific one.
It may also be helpful to keep shovels and general supplies in the boot / trunk of your car in-case the worst happens and you do end up stuck. The shovel can help dig your car out, spare blankets can keep you and your family warm while you wait for help and if you’re stuck for a while, a small supply of food may be handy too.
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