The country is bracing itself for some 40 hours of snow as temperatures drop and roads become icy. The winter weather has prompted car hire operator Europcar to give motorists some driving advice, urging them to think about renting a vehicle rather than driving their own.
Since the company ensures that its fleet is ready for driving winter weather, hiring one is be the best alternative for people who still need to drive to work or for shopping. Europcar vehicles are fully maintained to have the essentials, like tyres, and customers get 24-hour roadside assistance without paying extra. Before the vehicle is picked up by the customer, the company de-ices and checks them again. The operator’s staff also helps renters get familiar with the car’s controls before they start driving so they are confident behind the wheel no matter the road conditions. Sat nav is available as well to help drivers choose the best route.
Aside from the reasons why hiring car can be more reliable, Europcar has given all motorists some tips for driving in winter weather. They suggest: allowing plenty of time for journeys in the event a longer route has to be taken; slowing down when roads are icy, as speed limits are set for the best road conditions and can be too fast in other weather; being extra cautious on overpasses, bridges and shady roads, as icy conditions could be hidden; wearing sunglasses to avoid the low winter sun’s glare; leaving larger gaps between other vehicles on the road; and controlling skids by releasing the accelerator and turning into them.
Europcar UK Group managing director Ken McCall says colder weather makes driving more challenging, due to the risk of fog, snow and ice. This is why driving a car in confidence is more important than ever. They are encouraging people making longer journeys to consider hiring a car, as it offers the assurance they are driving a reliable vehicle. Their cars have been maintained with the essentials, like tyres, and are regularly checked. Additionally, their vehicles are covered by 24-hour roadside assistance, which doesn’t cost any extra. Their goal is to give drivers the best quality cars and ensure they can drive safely and confidently in any weather. He adds that they are prepared to make vehicles available across the country over the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, Europcar isn’t the only company giving motorists advice on how to drive in winter weather. With the onslaught of snow, the AA is warning them to be cautious. Head of special operations Darron Burness says morning commutes will likely test drivers and their cars with challenging driving conditions. He suggests motorists consider delaying their travel plans or taking alternative transport if conditions are really bad in their area. Drivers should also at least take warm clothes, de-icer and a completely charged mobile phone with, no matter how long their journey is.
Simon Williams, a spokesman for the RAC, says people need to be well prepared if they travel, which means packing warm clothes, food, drink, a shovel and fully charging their mobiles. Old carpet can be helpful in giving motorists traction if they get stuck in the snow, he added.