Winter car checks

Preparing your vehicle for winter


  • should have a legal minimum tread depth of 1.6mm over the central three-quarters of the tyre
  • the recommended minimum tread is 3mm
  • check them regularly for damage – bulges, cracks, slow punctures
  • check your tyre pressure meets the level recommended for winter conditions.


  • anti-freeze should be changed at least every two years as part of your service
  • you need a 50-50 mix of anti-freeze and water.

Screen Wash

  • ensure that you add screen wash to your washer bottle and top it up regularly
  • don’t add anti-freeze to your windscreen washer bottle – it is corrosive and will damage paintwork.


  • the average life of a battery is five years
  • remember that during winter months the battery will drain more quickly with the additional use of electrical items such as heaters, lights and heated rear windscreen.

Inside the car

Make sure you’re ready for winter by preparing an emergency kit containing the following:

  • ice scraper
  • de-Icer
  • torch and spare batteries
  • warm clothes and blanket
  • boots or sturdy footwear
  • first aid kit
  • sunglasses
  • road atlas and/or sat nav
  • personal medication.

For longer journeys or during severe weather you should also carry:

  • jump leads
  • mobile phone charger
  • shovel
  • food and warm drink
  • reflective warning sign.

Public transport

In severe weather conditions, don't use your car unless it is essential.

Take advantage of public transport where possible. The county has an extensive bus, tram and train network.

Get help with planning your journey by public transport.

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