Essential Winter Driving Kit Checklist

As the cold and dark nights of winter roll in, it's best to stock yourself up with some useful tools and supplies just in case you get into a spot of bother. As we all know the British weather can be very changeable so it's a good idea to be prepared for difficult weather conditions. Often traffic will worsen during bad weather and knowing that you have a good back up plan will be very reassuring when you set off for your journey. You'll be able to cope whatever the situation throws at you.

Well, as the know-it-all phrase goes, 'if you fail to prepare then prepare to fail'. At Halfords we have all the tools and bits of kit you'll need to be prepared for the winter season.

The All-Important Winter Driving Checklist

infographic showing items for a car needed during in winter

Ice scraper & de-icer

There's nothing more frustrating than rushing to get to work in the morning and your front and back windscreens are iced over. What's worse is that you have to spend the next 20 mins scraping your car with a credit card and waiting for the ice to clear! Now you're late for work and stressed! Having an ice scraper and de-icer in the car will save you so much time. You'll arrive at work on time, far more calm and collected and you won't need to order a new credit card!

Fully charged mobile phone

It's even more important to have your mobile charged when you're driving in winter so that you can reach out for help if you need it and also be contacted yourself. If your car has a USB charger then keep a mobile charger lead in the car so you can charge your phone as you go. If your car isn't that fancy then there are lots of gadgets on the market that will do the same usually using the cigarette lighter as the charging point. If you're a member of a breakdown service then have their number to hand. You usually receive a card to keep in your wallet when you sign up as well as a members booklet that you can keep in the car.

Warm clothing

Stuck on the M5, a truck has broken down and you don't want to keep the car running while you're sat in traffic because you're a little low on petrol. Brrrr. If only you'd packed your down jacket, fleece, hat and scarf, you'd be so toasty right now ! Keep a bag of warm clothing items in your car during winter. You just never know.

Blanket or travel rug

Another useful item to keep you warm and comfortable if you get stuck in cold weather. It could come in really useful if you're travelling with children or the elderly.

Food & snacks

The glove compartment is a good place to keep some snacks to keep energy levels up and blood sugars in check. Protein cereal bars are a good choice and easy to store. A couple of chocolate bars and some bottles of water will stand you in good stead if you find yourself not moving for any reason.

Hi-vis clothing

If you do have to get out of the car either to wait for help or perhaps clear snow, you need to be seen. With less daylight hours in winter it can get pretty dark quite quickly in the evenings so a hi vis jacket or vest will mean you'll won't be missed by other drivers.

Snow shovel and a broom

Another piece of kit you're going to be so grateful for when you wake up in the morning and there's been heavy snowfall during the night. At home or away a snow shovel and broom will come in really handy to clear your path and get you on your way. Our telescopic snow shovel is an ideal space saving item to pack.

De-icing salt

Salt to throw on the ground will really help speed up the process to get all that snow out the way and you on the road.

Snow chains or snow socks for your tyres

If the weather really takes a turn for the worse then snow chains or socks for your tyres will help keep you moving in snow or icy conditions. They will help increase your grip on snow and ice to allow you to get to cleared roads. You can use our helpful tool to find the right snow chains for your car here and it's a good idea to practice putting them on and removing them. You can always pop in-store and we can advise you!

Sturdy boots and a set of ice grips

When there's snow to be cleared and ice to be scraped, a pair of flip flops isn't going to cover it. Have a strong pair of boots to hand and you won't be slipping and sliding around. Plus, you're feet will stay nice and warm!

Emergency warning triangle

If your car does breakdown then an emergency warning triangle placed 45 metres (147 feet) behind your broken-down vehicle on the same side of the road will alert other vehicles that you're ahead. Be careful when you're retrieving it.

Tow rope

Having a tow rope in the car during winter can get you out of some tricky situations whether your car needs to be towed after a breakdown or another driver needs some help.

Jump leads

Jump leads are useful to have in the boot of your car all year around but particularly in winter when your battery might start to complain during the winter months.

Tyre inflator

With all those nasty conditions, the roads can take a bit of a bashing in winter, which can mean an increased risk of you getting a puncture. If the tyre isn't completely blown then having a tyre inflator will mean you can add some enough air to get you to your destination.

First aid kit

A just in case item because you never know what the winter weather is going to throw at you. Halfords sell different kits from basic to a full 66pc set. It's a good idea to have a First aid kit in your car at all times during the year.


Pack a sturdy torch for winter driving. If unfortunately you do end up stranded or stuck by the side of the road, you'll at least be able to take a look at the car and your surroundings without having to rely on the car interior light or your phone.

Spare car bulbs

Your car lights are your best friends during dark, wintery weather so if one of the bulbs fails it could prevent you from being able to see the road clearly and make for a treacherous journey. Having a spare bulb in the car could mean all the difference between getting home or being stuck by the side of the road waiting for help.

Winter Driving Tips

Before each journey, it’s a good idea to go through the POWDERY checklist. The things to check are as follows:

  • P for Petrol (or diesel) – have you got enough? Do you know where to fill up?
  • O For Oil – check your levels once a month
  • W for Water – check radiator and screenwash regularly. We offer a -30 Concentrated Screenwash that’s great for winter conditions
  • D for Damage – check your wipers and lights for signs of wear and tear or damage, and make sure windscreen, windows and lights are clear of ice and snow
  • E for Electrics – check lights, indicators and controls are working properly
  • R for Rubber tyres – are they well inflated, legal, with good tread and free from damage?
  • Y for You – are you fit to drive? Have you slept well? Are you taking any medicine that could make it unsafe for you to drive?

Winter Car Kits

Tip - Investing in a car breakdown kit or a Winter Essentials Kit is a good way to purchase some of these items in one handy package.

Get your winter driving supplies from us - Yes you got it; Halfords have got plenty of the essentials to go around. With a huge selection of winter driving stuff available as part of our motoring range, you'll be ready and prepared in no time. Just Click and Collect or get the goodies delivered straight to yours.

View all Winter Essentials