As I mentioned in my previous blog post about what I’ve managed to achieve this year, one of the main aims for me was to save up £10k. It meant literally working my backside off, but with 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!) I’m pleased to say I did it!
However, as soon as I hit the 10k mark, 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 ’17 plate, because quite frankly I haven’t done that well this year (now that would be something!), 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.
- 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!
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.
The below infographic by www.tyreplus.co.uk tells you everything you need to know about those all important tyres, and how to make sure they are in the best form.