Debunking 6 Winter Driving Myths
Driving a PCO car in London during cold weather can be challenging. However, there are many misconceptions that can affect your driving experience and waste your time. We asked PCO car hire experts to debunk some of the most common winter driving myths in the city. Keep reading to see what they said.
Driving in Winter Boots is Illegal
Most people opt for winter boots and wellies during colder months in London because they are designed to offer traction on slippery surfaces. Some are also designed to keep your feet warm. However, there’s no rule that you can’t wear winter boots while driving.
The Highway Code suggests drivers’ clothing and footwear shouldn’t prevent them from using the vehicle’s control correctly. So as long as your boots are not coming in the way of your driving, you can wear them. Even if you’re stopped by traffic police to check your footwear, you should be able to show that you have safe and complete control of your PCO car.
Winter Tyres Can Make Your Vehicle Insurance Invalid
Winter tyres are different from standard ones as they are designed specifically to drive on snowy, wet, and slippery roads. These tyres have a deeper tread depth and don’t harden much during cold temperatures. This is why most PCO car hire services in London use winter tyres to ensure safety and better performance.
However, most would suggest not getting these tyres as they are considered a modification for insurance companies (modifications in a car can reduce the cost of your premium). This can be true for some companies, but most insurance companies recognise the safety benefits of these tyres and allow you to use them without any changes in the premium. You should check with your insurance company before installing them. Moreover, if you’re renting a PCO car, your PCO car hire service will get this sorted.
Winter tyres need to be changed before the spring season because they wear out more quickly than regular ones. You can opt for all-season tyres instead to enjoy a better driving experience.
Engines Need More Time to Warm Up
It’s one of the most common winter driving myths and many drivers keep their vehicle’s engine running for longer times, increasing their carbon footprint. However, in reality, most modern cars are fine to drive within 15-30 seconds of the engine starting. Automotive companies are using advanced fuel injection systems that allow the oil and other fluids to circulate in the engine much faster than in older cars. Similarly, synthetic engine oils are less prone to thickening up than traditional oils in winter.
If you drive an electric car for PCO, you will have to wait a few minutes for your battery to warm up. Although EVs turn on as quickly as a light bulb, waiting for a few minutes can help batteries offer optimal function. This also improves your driving range during winter. The best part about driving an EV is that running it produces no emissions so you don’t have to worry about the footprint.
Besides warming the battery, some drivers let their cars warm up for longer periods for comfort-related reasons. But you can warm up your EV by simply plugging it in before driving to avoid battery drainage and waste.
The Law Requires You to Carry an Emergency Kit in Your Car
There’s no such law, but you should carry an emergency kit in your car for your and your passengers’ safety. The weather in London can be unpredictable so carrying the following things will come in handy:
- A snow shovel
- An ice scraper
- A mobile phone and charger
- A first aid kit
- A torch
- Warm clothes and/or blanket
- Water and snacks
- An emergency warning triangle
You Only Need to Clean the Ice from Windscreen
According to the Highway Code, you must clean ice and snow from your vehicle’s windows, including the front windscreen, rare windows, and side windows. Removing ice only from the windscreen and not from other windows is not only illegal but poses a severe threat. You should also remove snow from your car’s roof even if the law doesn’t require it.
While driving, the accumulated snow can fall on your windscreen or other drivers’ paths, causing many issues. So make it a habit of removing snow entirely from your car and don’t leave any space frosted to avoid creating blind spots.
Some Other Things to Consider
Here are some other things to consider when driving in colder months:
- Use fog lights during severe weather conditions
- Maintain a safe distance from other vehicles because stopping distance can increaseon snowy and wet roads
- Plan your journeys according to weather conditions
- Start your day early to de-ice your vehicle
- Avoid harsh braking and steering as it can lead to skidding
If you want more help with driving a PCO car in London during this season, reach out to the experts at G&M Direct Hire. It’s a leading PCO car hire company offering a wide range of modern electric cars for rent. Visit their website for more details.
About the Author
The author is affiliated with a PCO car rental company in London. He has over 10 years of experience in the industry and writes valuable guides to help drivers in the city.