Top Five Essentials to Keep in Your Car in Case of a Winter Emergency

Share Article offer their advice for those on the road this cold, cold winter.

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If you're not well-versed in changing tyres, it might be an idea to practice in your driveway. It's far better to learn that way than at the side of a fast road late at night while rain lashes down.

It's well known that cars aren't especially fond of the cold - particularly older models - and winter is the time of year that they're most likely to conk out. It's not always possible to prevent breakdown, or a weather-related accident, so it's wise to keep a selection of handy items in your car just in case - especially if you intend to travel to somewhere remote. So from the car insurance experts at, here's a list of essentials to keep in your car on the off-chance that you find yourself stranded at the back of beyond…

1.    Mobile phone
Most people are glued to their mobiles nowadays, so this may seem like it should go without saying. However, it's worth mentioning that you should take yours with you, and keep the number of your breakdown service handy (if you don't have breakdown cover, then you can find a deal to suit your budget through Also ensure that your phone is fully charged before going on a long journey. Also it's useful to have an in-car charger, but remember that this won't be of much use if your car battery goes flat.

2.    Wrap up warm
It's worthwhile having a blanket or some kind of warm covering to keep yourself toasty. This will prove especially useful if you find yourself sleeping in the car overnight. Likewise, be sure to have some warm clothes. Take gloves and some sturdy boots too, in case you need to go for a hike.

3.    Jump leads
The most common cause of breakdown during a cold snap is a flat battery, so it's always sensible to ensure that it's in good shape. Will Thomas, auto insurance product manager at adds "It's a smart idea to have a set of jump leads handy, as someone may well be courteous enough to allow you to charge off their battery. Keep the leads in good condition though, and don't ever try to charge a battery that's leaking or looks damaged."

4.    Spare tyre
Carrying a spare tyre in your car is essential all year round. All tyres should be in a good condition to deal with wet and potentially icy roads. Will Thomas of says "If you're not well-versed in changing tyres, it might be an idea to practice in your driveway. It's far better to learn that way than at the side of a fast road late at night while rain lashes down." In addition to your spare tyre, your car will most likely have a jack and a wheel brace - but check before making your journey if you're not sure. It's also worthwhile having a tyre gauge and pump, and regularly checking that your tyres are inflated to the optimum pressure.

5.    First-aid kit
This is well worth having in your car in case of an accident. Keep one in your glove box in case you need to patch up any minor scratches or dings (to your person - not to the car).
Fingers crossed that you won't have to use some of the items on the above list, but having them handy is a sensible precaution. Do bear in mind also that the list isn't exhaustive… There are plenty of other things that could prove invaluable - such as a torch, a bar of chocolate and a good book.

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Notes to editors
About is one of the UK's biggest and most popular price comparison services. Launched in 2002, it generates over one million quotes per month. It has expanded its range of comparison products over the last couple of years to include home insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance, van insurance, motorbike insurance, breakdown cover and energy, as well as financial services products including credit cards, loans, mortgages and life insurance. is not a supplier, insurance company or broker. It provides a free, objective and unbiased comparison service. By using cutting-edge technology, it has developed a series of intelligent web-based solutions that evaluate a number of risk factors to help customers with their decision-making, subsequently finding them great deals on a wide-range of insurance products, financial services, utilities and more.'s service is based on the most up-to-date information provided by UK suppliers and industry regulators. is owned by the Admiral Group plc. Admiral listed on the London Stock Exchange in September 2004. is regulated by the FSA.


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Caroline Spindlove
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