Skip to content
SPRING SPECIAL: Air Conditioning Recharge From £65
SPRING SPECIAL: Air Conditioning Recharge From £65
Winter driving tips

We’re motoring home the top tips for driving in cold, frosty and icy conditions

Here’s a question for all drivers — do you porthole? Portholing refers to the act of driving without fully clearing the windows of your car from ice, frost or snow.

And according to the latest research from Halfords, which quizzed 2,000 people about their cold weather driving habits, it’s something which 53% of us do.

However not only is portholing unsafe, but by doing so you risk receiving a fine of £60 which rises to £2,500 if your vehicle is deemed dangerous, along with three points on your licence. So, as you can see, it’s simply not worth the risk.

With temperatures reaching -3 degrees here at independent garage Just the Ticket in New Malden, we thought we’d drive home some tips for motorists braving the roads in the icy conditions. Here’s some points to keep in mind:

1. Stop and think: Is your journey really necessary?

According to research, one road accident happens every hour in snow, ice, floods, fog and darkness. So if the roads are very icy round by you, why risk it? Especially if your journey isn’t necessary.

Could you walk to your destination more safely? Or could you wait a little while until the roads have warmed up?

We know some journeys are non-negotiable, but some accidents can be prevented if you don’t need to make them in the first place.

2. Check your tyres

Tyre grip is important at the best of times, let alone when its minus degrees outside and you’re driving in icy conditions.

We’ve spoken before about the lifespan of your tyres. Usually, most new tyres come with a tread of 8, 9 or 10mm, but the legal limit for driving is 1.6mm. But during winter, we’d recommend that you don’t drive with a tread of less than 3mm.

And while you’re checking the tread, make sure you double check the pressure too.

Discovered you need new tyres? We have a full range of tyres for sale and also offer to fit them for you if need be.

3. Clear your windows fully

In other words, don’t porthole no matter how late you are running. You will be even later if you cause a crash. Instead, remember to leave yourself at least 10 minutes for your motor to warm up and do the hard work for you.

Also never use boiling water from your kettle to clear your windows. You might think this will help melt the ice from your windows faster but the quick change in temperature, going from sub-zero to near boiling point, can cause your window screen to crack.

Invest in a handy scraper and some de-icer. Put that credit card away!


4. Watch your speed — and your braking distance

Most roads might have a 30mph speed limit, but in bitter icy conditions braking distances can increase by up to ten times compared with a dry road.

Meaning? You should leave up to 10 times the normal recommended gap from you and the car you’re following.

Servicing at Just the Ticket

Since we first opened up our doors in 2004, we’ve been carrying out a number of services including servicing cars.

We carry out all levels of servicing to most makes of cars at very competitive prices. We also offer manufacturer scheduled services for when your vehicle is still within a manufacturer's warranty.

Servicing covers draining your engine oil and refilling it, an oil filter replacement, checkingfor general oil leaks and assessing your cambelt. We’ll also assess your steering and suspension, and brake pads for wear or damage.

Whether it’s for an interim service, which should be carried out every 6 months, or every 6,000 miles, to full servicing that can be done every 12 months or every 12,000 miles. Do get in touch with our friendly reception team to find out more and book your motor in. Or give a call on 0208 336 1111.

Next article 3 common MOT fails (and how to avoid them)