Ireland’s Guide To Money And Living

Get winter ready

Winter ready

Winter can be a difficult time for motorists – the windows are iced over, the road is slippy and the colder weather can make it a little more difficult to concentrate. We’ve got some tips on how you can make your winter driving experience a little more bearable.

Free checks

Make sure you’re ready for the winter and take advantage of a number of free checks around the country, including participating Toyota dealers, Halfords, and Advance Pitstop. Or, if you’re feeling confident, do it yourself with this handy checklist from Auto Express.

On the road

Stopping distances double when driving on wet roads, and can be up to 10 times longer during snowy conditions. Keep that in mind when you’re out and about and you could avoid a costly accident!

You should also avoid driving driving through standing water, as you could wind up with engine damage. If you have to, the AA recommends driving slowly and steadily in a lower gear, keeping the revs high.

And, if you come out to your car in the morning and it’s covered by a blanket of snow, make sure to remove it all before you set off – if you break suddenly your vision could be obscured by a mound of snow on your windscreen.

NCT ready

Not directly related to winter, but if you’ve got a car from 2007 then you should get it NCT tested now – you’ll get a two-year certificate, saving on an extra test visit down the line and the associated costs. NCT test centres tend to be busy early in the year, so it should be an easier process this month and next. And, if you get your car tested between November 21st and December 20th 2016 you’ll be entered into one of 12 draws for €1,000.

Car kit

Prepare for any emergency situation by keeping a kit bag full of useful items in your boot. You should be able to put together one yourself easily – grab a bag and pop in a high vis vest (available for free from the RSA), tow rope, spare bulbs, de-icing equipment, a torch (preferably a hand cranked version to avoid running out of power), a hazard warning triangle, first aid kit (currently on sale in Lidl), a fire extinguisher and a blanket.

Or you could save some time and buy one in Argos – currently half price at €28.49.

When not writing about all things personal finance, You & Your Money's editor Conor Forrest enjoys reading, football and getting lost in an ocean of Wikipedia articles.