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Avoid Winter Road Trip Hazards with these Top Tips

A road trip is a great way to spend a holiday at any time of year, and there are some truly incredible locations all over the world that you can explore in the winter season. However, it’s absolutely crucial to be extra careful on the roads at this time of the year. Car hire excess insurance can protect you from nasty unexpected costs and health insurance is obviously a must, but above all else, you need to stay safe.

Read on for some top tips on how to handle your hire car over winter.

Come Prepared

If you’re not familiar with winter driving, you might not realise just how much stuff you need to bring – in truth, you basically need to be prepared and ready to be stuck in your car in harsh conditions for prolonged periods of time. Hopefully it won’t happen to you, but it can, and does.

For your Vehicle

Emergency car kits will include things like booster cables and air compressors, and you should always make sure to bring jumper cables in case your battery runs down. You should also bring extra windshield washer fluid, an ice scraper and some de-icer fluid.

For You

Most smart phones these days have decent map apps, especially for town and city driving, but it pays to build in a back-up plan. Bring a cable that’ll let you charge your phone in the car, but also invest in (or hire) a separate GPS, and perhaps even a paper map for those rare occasions when you become completely off-grid.

Top Tip: To ensure your phone doesn’t run out, bring a fully charged power bank – bigger ones can give you multiple full-cycle charges.

Plan Ahead

It’s always important to plan a road trip out well – especially if you’re visiting a completely unfamiliar place. Still, there are special things you need to keep in mind for winter road trips.

Firstly, allow for and set a slower pace: harsh conditions and poor visibility can mean even simple journeys take longer.

Secondly, check the weather forecast. Although conditions can often be very changeable in winter, it’s worth getting as much of a forecast as is available, so you can make sure you avoid any seriously dangerous weather.

Be Vigilant

So, you’ve packed and planned and you’re out on the road. What now?

In a nutshell: stay alert. High-tech systems in today’s modern cars can make us complacent, but you should always be aware of potential risks when driving in winter. Stay slow, watch out for ice and pull over and clean your windows if they start to get fogged up or covered with snow.

You should also check the weather forecast regularly while you’re on the road, and fill up with fuel whenever you get a chance. Even if you know where the next station is, you can’t be sure conditions won’t keep you from reaching it.

Stay Covered with Car Hire Excess Insurance

Most companies won’t let you rent out a vehicle without insurance, but it’s worth paying that little extra for a car hire excess insurance policy.  Being covered for every eventuality will not just potentially save you a lot of money, it will also offer you complete peace of mind.

These tips are all general, of course, and there are a lot more specifics you can find when you do some further research online. But we hope they’re helpful and that they encourage you to be careful, be alert and be prepared. Before you go, get in touch with us at Lowerhire to have a chat about all the reasons for getting car excess insurance.


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