Changes in the seasons are inevitable yet many people fail to make adequate preparations for colder weather. The Highways Agency’s 2013-14 Annual Road User Satisfaction Survey found that 45% of drivers don’t carry out any winter checks. So what preparations should be taken to ensure a warm car come winter?

Be prepared

Modern cars don’t need a long warm up, however, starting the car and putting the defrosters on high before starting to scrape ice off makes the job easier. When it’s clear to go set off gently with no hard acceleration or braking. This will get the engine speed up and the car will start to warm up.

Not everyone has the benefit of heated seats in their car. There are other steps, however, to keep the cold at bay. A steering wheel cover can help protect hands whilst winter floor mats will help prevent a damp car and chilly feet.

Don’t forget the driver

It’s not just the car: the driver and any passengers need to be weather-ready too. Lots of thin layers is better than one thick layer. This will help trap heat and layers can be discarded as necessary. A warm hat, driving gloves and extra thick socks are a must in the depths of winter.

Emergency

And, of course, it’s important to prepare for an emergency. An emergency kit that includes a warm blanket, water, food, shovel, de-icer and scraper, torch and atlas could all come in handy the event of a breakdown. Of course, if the weather is truly terrible, the best solution can be to leave the car in the cold and stay warm at home instead.