15 winter-ready tips for your home and car

As the days get shorter, it's time to get prepped for the colder months ahead.

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Winter driving can include a huge variety of weather conditions, such as ice, snow, fog and rain, that can make breaking down that bit more stressful – especially if you’re stuck in the dark for hours on end. 

But getting comprehensive car breakdown cover will ensure you don’t end up being stranded on the roadside. Cover is available for as little as £40 a year and can include roadside repair and recovery and onwards travel to your destination.

You can also include ‘home start’ which provides assistance if your car fails to start outside your home.  

Safe as houses

Not only do adverse weather conditions wreak havoc on our driving, they can also cause damage to our homes.

High winds, for example, can loosen roof tiles and colder temperatures can cause water pipes to freeze. Similarly, there’s always the risk that heavy rainfall will result in flooding and associated damage – even affecting homes outside traditional flood risk areas.

Kevin Pratt, insurance expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “There are two aspects to getting your home ready for winter: first, you should check guttering and roof tiles to make sure everything is secure and, second, you should make sure you have adequate buildings and contents insurance.

It’s a really good idea for homeowners to review their insurance policies before winter arrives to understand what they are covered for and reconsider the levels of cover needed, to avoid any nasty surprise bills to repair any damage over the winter months.”

Get organised

Now the clocks have gone back, it really is time to get your home and car ready for the winter. Check out our recommendations:

MoneySuperMarket’s top winter home tips:

1. Check insulation is in place on boilers, water pipes and tanks and in lofts
2. If you have an outside tap, isolate it and turn it off at the stop tap. This will prevent freezing and subsequent bursting
3. Clear gutters and grids so that excess water has an escape route from your property
4. If you have trees close to your property, check they are not in danger of being blown over and causing damage
5. Check outbuildings such as sheds and greenhouses are in good repair and able to withstand stormy conditions
6. Stock up on candles and batteries for torches in case of power failure
7. Locate your stopcock so you can turn it off in the event of a burst pipe

MoneySuperMarket’s top winter driving tips:

8. Ensure your vehicle is serviced and regularly check the oil level, anti-freeze, hazard lights and tyres for tread depth and pressure – and check the spare tyre is in good condition too
9. Keep the essentials in your car, such as a torch, reflective triangle sign, high-visibility jacket, shovel, first aid kit, and jump leads
10. Check and clean your lights regularly
11. Don’t make unnecessary journeys in poor weather conditions
12. Keep extra stopping distance from the vehicle in front and take particular care to look out for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, especially in the dark
13. In cold or icy conditions, don't accelerate, brake or take sharp corners suddenly
14. Wear or stow essential winter clothing in the event of a breakdown in case you have to leave your vehicle
15. Keep a few snacks and bottled water in the car in case you are stuck for any length of time.

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Please note: any rates or deals mentioned in this article were available at the time of writing. Click on a highlighted product and apply direct.

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