Lifestyle: My Car Of Dreams and Winter Driving

Here’s a post today which is aiming to send a bit of motivation and inspiration your way for the new year. One of my aims throughout 2017 was to try to reach £10k savings after buying my house. I don’t know how I managed it, but I did!

So I set myself the same for 2018, to try and save another 10k. I’m not quite there yet, but I’m hoping to hit it by the end of the year.

Trying to hit the 10k mark each years has meant literally working my backside off, working around the clock and squeezing in as many extra bits of work as possible (makeup jobs over spare weekends, and selling half my life on eBay!). But I’m pleased to say I did it, and will hopefully be doing it again.

As soon as I hit the 10k mark at the end of 2017, I was in the right financial place to take a chunk of money out to use towards a purchase I’ve been wanting to make for a long time – a new car. Not a brand new plate, but still a new car all the same, and in the form of a white Audi A1!

Buying a new car in the Winter is possibly the worst time of year, because I kid you not, a couple of weeks into driving around in my new wheels I was greeted with the worst weather mention-able – sleet, snow and ice. Now I’m by far not the best driver in the world. I’d actually go as far to hold my hands up and admit that I don’t do the whole driving thing very well.

Last week, when the whole of the North West and Midlands came to a halt due to the thickest snow I’ve seen in a long time, I had a mini panic: I’m not actually that familiar with checking my car is OK in bad conditions. Are my tyres up to scratch? What happens if I skid?

So whilst I now own a beautiful new car, I wanted to go into to more sensible side of driving, and share some advice I’ve learnt lately whilst researching how to check the overall health of my tyres, and general tips when it comes to driving in these horrendous conditions.

Tyre Health

  • The legal minimum tread depth for cars in the UK is 1.6mm
  • In wet weather, tyre tread grooves help to remove water from the contact patch between your tyres and the road surface meaning your car can brake, steer and accelerate properly.
  • Without adequate tread depth your tyres may not be able to perform properly in wet conditions, reducing your safety on the road.
  • Drivers whose tyres fail to comply with the minimum tread depth requirements risk a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre – so make sure this isn’t you!

Make sure you’re always aware of where you can purchase new tyres from. For my area, I look around Staffordshire, Cheshire and Manchester. For up North around Scotland, you can buy good quality branded tyres in stirling only from Fife Autocentre. Visit their website now and you can book your car tyres for free

The 20p Test

  • A quick and easy way to see if your tyre tread exceed the minimum legal tread depth is to take the 20p test.
  • Simply place a 20p coin into the main tread grooves of your tyre. If the outer band of the 20p coin is obscured when it is inserted, then your tread is above the legal limit.
  • If the outer band of the coin is visible, then your tyres may be illegal and unsafe and should be checked immediately by a qualified tyre professional.

What to do if your car starts to skid in the snow

  • Drivers should steer into the skid. So if the cars rear wheels begin drifting to the left while making a right-hand turn, the driver should turn the wheel left.
  • Slamming on the brakes while driving too fast can also cause the wheels to lock, which propels the car forward out of control.
  • Putting the car into neutral or stepping on the clutch pedal will help slow it down and regain control.

Remember guys, the cold icy weather is yet to come thick and fast, so drive carefully and make sure your car is in the best driving condition possible.



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