This article is brought to you by Marmalade Insurance.
Reading the media predictions for winter can make you long for sunnier climes. However, if moving to a warmer country isn’t practical, then it’s worth making sure that you’re properly prepared for whatever winter has up its sleeve.
A particularly important preparation is ensuring that your car is fit for the coming bad weather. While you may just cross your fingers and hope for the best, it can be worth investing in a proper winter friendly car, so here is a list of five options, with something to suit all budgets.
Money no object: Range Rover
For those with very deep pockets, the venerable Range Rover provides a luxury solution to British winter weather, and the new long-wheelbase version offers extra space for rear passengers to really enjoy the ride.
Make the most of heated seats up front while rear passengers can recline in comfortable massage seats. If winter is your favourite season and you’re heading off to the mountains for some skiing, then the Range Rover even has special hatches for safely stowing your skis.
Family option: Peugeot 3008
The Peugeot 3008 looks like a traditional family people mover rather than a 4×4, and that is because it’s not actually a 4×4. However, it has a couple of features for people who worry about occasional bad weather.
Like any modern vehicle on sale in the UK, it comes equipped with electronic stability control (ESP) as standard, which will help you keep control in poor conditions. In addition, the Peugeot has something called Grip Control with lots of different driving modes to suit various conditions, such as snow.
Pocket-friendly option: Skoda Yeti 4×4
The Skoda Yeti is a popular four-wheel drive vehicle, and you get a good deal of car for your money. Apart from a stylish exterior and a cosy interior, it comes with an array of controls to help you beat the winter weather.
In addition to being a 4×4, which gives you extra drive on snowy and icy roads when a normal car would be helplessly spinning its wheels, there is also a special off-road button that provides even more control for uneven and difficult terrain. And for anyone who has to drive down steep hills in winter, the hill descent control is essential.
Small car option: Fiat Panda 4×4
After recent winters, many drivers are keen to get their hands on a 4×4, but feel that they don’t want to drive a hulking great vehicle around. There are now several options available that look like ordinary cars, but that secretly have the benefits of four-wheel drive.
The Fiat Panda 4×4 is perfect for nipping round cities and busy town centres, but also comes equipped with four-wheel drive and will get through winter conditions that would catch out many large 4×4 vehicles. Since the Panda falls into insurance group 2, it’s one of the cheaper cars on the road to insure – even for provisional insurance for learner drivers.
The “Can’t afford a new car” option: Be prepared!
If buying a new car just isn’t a viable option right now, then it’s possible to offset winter conditions by planning ahead and being prepared.
First up, get your car fitted with snow tyres as these will be an enormous help. Second, keep supplies in your boot in case you are stuck for any length of time. You will need a shovel for clearing snow, grit will help to get your car going in icy conditions, and a flask of warm soup will keep you going if you get cold or hungry. And make sure you have a high visibility vest, a warm winter coat, hat, scarf and gloves.
It’s also worth keeping a sleeping bag with you for emergencies. And always have your mobile phone with you and fully charged.