It’s snowing outside right now in most places in Britain, even in our soft southern corner… the same corner in which normally rational people (which excludes Nissan Note and Vauxhall Corsa owners) lose the ability to drive when the snow arrives.
Me? Well, in all honesty, I’m no better behind the wheel but I was returning from work this morning so had fair reason to help the queues escalate. Visit France, Italy or Switzerland during winter and everyone’s prepared – right tyres, proper winter concentrate screen wash, wipers in the air (so they don’t glue to the windscreen) and properly de-misted cars.
Here in Britain? Let’s see:
No lights – tick; every window obscured with snow – tick; 8000 revs sideways – tick; Exhaust hanging off – tick (see below)
People in the south are far more useless it seems purely because snow never happens down here (but that excludes the last two winters when it did). However, shelling out on some previously enjoyed winter tyres (£130) was a shrewd investment on a RWD barge, especially up this incline (may have used uncompacted snowy wrong side of the road, T&C’s apply).
My advice? Well, if you were contemplating some winter tyres, get them – if they work on an old RWD automatic barge, they should be fantastic on a FWD hatch. I think, in hindsight, I should have purchased new tyres because, in the month since I’ve had them fitted, they have behaved impeccably in the wet. Hell, I even stuck them on the alloys! Sniffing about, try the car enthusiasts’ enemy Kwik Fit, because they have some rather good online prices on Continentals among others.
One word of warning: you still can’t avoid that steamed-up Renault Scenic driven by the nice lady wearing mittens on four bald Chinese tyres…
Is the Editor of the Parkers website and price guide, formerly editor of Classic Car Weekly, and launch editor/creator of Modern Classics magazine. Has contributed to various motoring titles including Octane, Practical Classics, Evo, Honest John, CAR magazine, Autocar, Pistonheads, Diesel Car, Practical Performance Car, Performance French Car, Car Mechanics, Jaguar World Monthly, MG Enthusiast, Modern MINI, Practical Classics, Fifth Gear Website, Radio 4, and the the Motoring Independent...
Likes 'conditionally challenged' motors and taking them on unfeasible adventures all across Europe.