First-Time Winter Driving in the UK

Driving in the winter for the first time in the UK can be a daunting experience, especially if you’re used to driving in warmer climates. But with a few tips and some extra preparation, you’ll be able to tackle the roads with confidence.

Maintain a safe distance

Your stopping distance increases on snow and ice, so make sure you keep a considerable gap between you and the vehicle in front to avoid a collision.

Use higher gears

Driving in higher gear helps maintain control, especially on icy roads. If you’re having trouble starting, try pulling away in second gear instead of first.

Check your lights

Winter days are shorter, and you’ll be using your lights more frequently. Check that all lights are working before setting off on your journey.

Check your tires

Good tire condition is crucial in winter as the grip is reduced. Ensure that the tread depth is at least 3mm and consider purchasing winter tires for better traction.

Allow extra time

Winter driving conditions can be stressful, so give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination by leaving earlier.

Watch out for black ice

It’s invisible on roads and can be deadly. Take it slow and avoid sudden manoeuvres in freezing conditions.

Recover from skids

If you hit black ice and lose control, keep both hands on the wheel and steer into the skid. Remain calm and aware of your surroundings.

Be prepared for rain, wind, and fog

These weather conditions can also make driving difficult. Reduce speed, keep both hands on the wheel, and maintain calm.

Keep your fuel tank topped up

Running out of fuel in winter can be more hazardous than in summer, so make sure to keep your tank at least half-full.

Carry a breakdown kit

Having essentials in your car can come in handy if your vehicle breaks down. Pack a blanket, torch, fully charged phone, food, and other essentials.


In conclusion, driving in the winter for the first time in the UK can be a challenge, but with these tips, you’ll be able to navigate the roads safely and with confidence. Remember to always drive slowly and carefully, and to be prepared for the unexpected.

Posted on Nov 10, 2019 by Sam

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First-Time Winter Driving in the UK