Winter is here with dark evenings and cold weather. It is a good idea to ensure that your car is prepared for travelling in winter by packing some essentials just in case of a breakdown on travel disruption.
Some retailers sell ready-made kit bags to keep in your car boot and they mainly contain the same essentials.
Ice scraper - It's a legal requirement to keep your windscreen clear of ice and snow. Your windscreen should be fully clear before you set off on your journey. Some cars have the luxury of heated windscreens but it is still useful to keep a scraper and some de-icer in your car.
Torch - a torch can be incredibly useful in the event of a breakdown, especially on a dark night or in an unlit area.
First aid kit - a small first aid kit in the boot of your car with essential items such as platers, sterile wipes and dressings. You can purchase a readymade kit or make up your own.
Two reflective warning signs - these are optional in the UK and are a legal requirement in many EU countries. The warning signs are to be placed to the front and rear of your vehicle in the event of a breakdown to warn other motorists that your car is there. These should never be used on the motorway.
Shovel - particularly useful when travelling on a snowy day.
Empty fuel can - if you find yourself without fuel, it's handy to keep an empty fuel can available.
Mobile phone and in-car charger - you can call for breakdown assistance if you need it or you can contact family and friends in the event of a delay. It is illegal and dangerous to use a handheld phone whilst driving so ensure that it's synced up with your car's system if you have one, or alternatively pull over somewhere safe to make a call. It is useful to take a charging cable or backup power bank.
Sunglasses - The winter sun can affect visibility, creating glare which can make it difficult to see the road. Having a pair of sunglasses will make driving more comfortable.
Jump leads - flat batteries can happen regardless of your vehicles age at any time and it's much more likely to happen in cold weather. Keeping some leads in your car will help you get your car back on the road quicker.
There is no law requiring you to carry an emergency kit in your car, but it is a good idea especially if you are planning longer journeys over the winter months.
Make sure that your car is winter ready with a Winter Health Check.