&nbps;

Get your FREE online valuation now

Enter your number plate

Unlike other countries where each season only takes up about a quarter of the year, Britain is susceptible to wintery weather all year round. You might think that would mean we’re used to it by now, but it turns out we’re absolutely not!

We carried out a survey of 2000 British drivers to find out everything worth knowing about how we handle winter driving, and the results show that bad weather still causes more issues than you can shake a snow-boot at. From cancelled plans to emergency supplies, here are the effects of winter weather on drivers in the UK.

First up – it gets in the way of our lives. Our survey showed that one in three British workers have been forced to take a day off work due to wintery weather, one in six have had to reschedule an appointment, and one in ten have missed a party. In fact, half of all motorists have had to cancel plans of some sort due to bad weather, and 40% of us specifically avoid making plans in winter just in case it happens again.

Not only do we end up missing out on a lot because of wintery weather, we also have to put in the prep work to make sure we don’t get caught off-guard. Because what could be worse than being stranded on the side of the M6 on a cold January night? Being stranded on the side of the M6 on a cold January night with no water, snacks, or phone.

Luckily, it seems that most Brits take emergency supplies seriously, with 83% of us having an ice scraper in our cars, 64% having a spare tyre, and 57% having a first aid kit. However, over a quarter of motorists have absolutely nothing stowed in readiness for bad weather.

Our survey found that the least experienced drivers are the least prepared, with over a third of people who’ve only been driving 1-2 years admitting they don’t have what they need to deal with a breakdown in bad weather.

 Top 15 Items Brits Stock In Their Cars 
1 Ice scraper 83%
2 Spare tyre 64%
3 Mobile Phone Charger 63%
4 Torch 60%
5 First Aid Kit 57%
6 Water 52%
7 Reflective warning triangle 48%
8 High visibility jacket 43%
9 Blanket 40%
10 Jump Leads 39%
11 Spare warm clothing 36%
12 Spare coolant, oil and windscreen-washer fluid 29%
13 Snacks 28%
14 Shovel / Fold-down shovel 25%
15 Duct tape 7%

Drivers from Belfast are the least prepared overall, with 44% saying they don’t have emergency supplies in their car, while Lancastrians are the most prepared, with 73% equipped for disaster. The full breakdown of emergency supplies stored by drivers in different regions of Britain is below.

ItemsEastEast MidlandsLondonNorth EastNorth WestNorthern IrelandScotlandSouth EastSouth WestWalesWest MidlandsYorkshire
Water 47.69% 45.35% 51.24% 58.18% 51.55% 53.33% 52.13% 52.84% 54.14% 50% 46.51% 47.76%
Snacks 23.08% 25.58% 26.17% 36.36% 23.2% 13.33% 34.04% 33.52% 29.32% 25.86% 23.26% 30.6%
Torch 61.54% 67.44% 50.14% 69.09% 59.28% 60% 67.02% 64.2% 62.41% 65.52% 60.47% 59.7%
Ice scraper / De-icer 87.69% 81.4% 81.27% 92.73% 80.93% 86.67% 85.11% 84.09% 83.46% 81.03% 83.72% 87.31%
Shovel / Fold-down shovel 20% 32.56% 14.05% 40% 24.74% 20% 43.09% 18.18% 23.31% 25.86% 25.58% 32.09%
Jump leads 36.92% 38.37% 38.02% 45.45% 39.69% 73.33% 43.62% 36.93% 38.35% 43.1% 33.33% 29.85%
Spare tyre 66.15% 67.44% 62.81% 69.09% 58.25% 66.67% 68.62% 61.36% 63.16% 55.17% 71.32% 64.93%
Spare coolant, oil and windscreen-washer fluid 26.15% 31.4% 27.27% 41.82% 27.32% 6.67% 39.36% 29.55% 25.56% 31.03% 26.36% 29.85%
Spare warm clothing 32.31% 40.7% 30.58% 32.73% 40.21% 40% 39.89% 37.5% 37.59% 31.03% 32.56% 37.31%
High visibility jacket 49.23% 58.14% 36.64% 34.55% 36.6% 46.67% 43.09% 48.86% 45.11% 44.83% 44.19% 39.55%
Blanket 43.08% 43.02% 39.67% 41.82% 42.78% 26.67% 33.51% 41.48% 38.35% 31.03% 44.19% 41.04%
Mobile phone charger 67.69% 66.28% 58.95% 63.64% 68.04% 60% 67.02% 63.07% 60.9% 56.9% 65.12% 66.42%
Duct Tape 4.62% 11.63% 3.86% 3.64% 8.76% 0% 7.98% 9.66% 6.02% 8.62% 6.98% 5.22%
First Aid Kit 60% 67.44% 54.55% 61.82% 47.94% 60% 59.04% 63.07% 63.16% 53.45% 57.36% 50%
Reflective warning triangle 53.85% 50% 48.48% 50.91% 36.6% 46.67% 46.28% 57.95% 43.61% 53.45% 44.19% 47.01%

Despite all of this, our research showed that 70% of Brits still feel confident driving in icy conditions, even though 66% admitted they’d lost control of their car in bad weather. We also trust our cars a lot, with 75% of survey respondents having faith that their car would manage well on ice.

Drivers with more than 25 years of experience – veterans of many a British winter – were understandably the most confident in their ice-driving abilities, with 75% saying they can handle it. Meanwhile, 12% of people who’ve been driving less than a year have already had an accident due to poor weather.

In terms of location, Durham-based drivers are the most confident overall in their winter driving prowess (94%) while motorists from Carlisle were the most likely to have had an accident on the road thanks to bad conditions (46%).

While weather can’t be controlled, watching out for the worst of it, not being afraid to cancel plans, and making sure you’re prepared for any problems you do run into on the roads can help you make it through every winter accident-free.

And worst-case, if you do break down in a blizzard, at least you’ll have snacks and a blanket with you.

For regular updates follow us