Icy Ideas – Our Favourite Five Snow Gadgets

Over the past few weeks, the UK has been hit repeatedly by the ‘Beast from the East’, bringing with it heavy snowfall, which of course we never seem to be prepared for! (And if weather predictions are correct, it looks like we may be in store for more snow this Easter).

If the whole experience has left you wondering whether there are any useful car gadgets to help tackle the snow, here are our favourite five ideas for you to consider next time it happens…from gadgets to improve driving in the snow, to more extravagant luxuries which will make the experience a little more enjoyable!

Snow Socks

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 Image source: Buyacar  (23/01/2017)

No, not for your feet…for your tyres! In snow and ice, even winter tyres can struggle, and that’s where Snow Socks can help. Yes, they really are socks for your tyres, and you simply place them over the front two wheels to provide extra grip to get your vehicle moving. 

However, they are only designed to rescue you from deep snow situations (for example if you are stuck in a snow drift and cannot get out), not for constant use during snowy conditions.

Snow Socks, which can cost around £25-£40 a set, do wear out quite quickly once they are driven on snow and ice, so it’s a good idea to remove them as soon as you have managed to manoeuvre your vehicle onto a safer surface. You should also remember not to travel faster than 30mph when using them.

Heated Seat Covers

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Image source: Chipex (17/08/2017)

Sitting on freezing cold car seats is no fun, but did you know that you can enjoy the luxury of heated seats without the expense of changing your car to a higher spec model?

Cold seats are just another frustration for drivers during adverse weather conditions. Not only is there the hassle of de-icing the whole car, but then you have sit on the freezing cold seats while waiting for the windscreen to de-mist. And it’s ten times worse if you have leather seats!

So why not treat yourself to a heated seat cover? Although at one time these were very expensive, in the last few years they have become more commonly available, and low-priced ranges (between £20-£30) can be found in supermarkets, petrol stations, and the usual automotive accessory retailers.

Heated Travel Mug

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Image source: Chipex (17/08/2017)

If the thought of a nice hot cup of tea or coffee is the only thing that keeps you going when tackling a cold commute to work, then a Heated Travel Mug could be the perfect purchase for you.

If you make yourself a flask for the journey, and place it inside a freezing car, it’s probably going to get very cold, very quickly. And there’s nothing worse than taking a sip of cold coffee when you (and your hands) need warming up.

The inbuilt heated system inside the mug will kick into action when plugged into a 12-volt socket, helping to keep your drink nice and hot. Many now come with USB connectors, as most modern cars now have USB ports. This product is widely available from eBay, Amazon and camping/travel websites, and depending on the make and model, can cost between £5-£30.

Snow Plough Attachment

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Image source: Chipex (17/08/2017)

Why spend ages digging through the snow on your driveway with a hand-held shovel, when you can attach a snow plough onto the front of your car and clear it away in seconds?

And they’re not just for heavy duty trucks – there are lightweight versions on the market that work on passenger cars and light SUVs, which attach to the front of the vehicle in minutes, using straps and bungee cords.

At around £1,600 upwards, this is indeed an extravagance, and is not a product that is commonly purchased in the UK. But they have been spotted in use in parts of Scotland, and yes, they look great fun!

Magnetic Windscreen Cover

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Image source: ChipsAway (04/11/2015)

If the thought of scraping down your icy windscreen in the morning fills you with dread, how about trying a Magnetic Windscreen Shield?

This simple windscreen cover unfolds from its bag and quickly and easily attaches to your car windscreen, without any fiddly straps. Being magnetic there is less opportunity for wind to get underneath and blow it off, which is a common problem with the tie-on versions.

Depending on the make, they can cost between £3-£15, so you can have a frost-free windscreen on the coldest of mornings for little more than the cost of a can of de-icer!

Will your new car be sorted for the snow?

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If you’re in the market for a new car, it’s worth remembering that some will offer optional winter packs, which offer extra equipment to make driving in winter conditions more comfortable.

Extras could include Heated Washer Jets, which are not only useful but improve your safety when driving. If your washer jets freeze up and you are unable to clear your windscreen, your vision could be seriously impaired, and this increases the risk of accidents.

Other great optional extras often available are Heated Side Mirrors that prevent them from fogging up in cold weather, and Heated Steering Wheels. 

We hope you’ve found some icy inspiration from these ideas…see you in the snow!

 

 Sources:

Sourced from www.buyacar.co.uk. (2017). Best equipment for winter driving. Available: https://www.buyacar.co.uk/cars/462/best-equipment-for-winter-driving. Last accessed 22/03/2018.

Sourced from www.chipex.co.uk. (2017). Eight cool & handy car gadgets for winter. Available: https://www.chipex.co.uk/blog/choosing-winter-car-gadgets/. Last accessed 22/03/2018.

Sourced from www.chipsaway.co.uk. (2015). Our Top 3 Winter Gadgets Picks. Available: https://www.chipsaway.co.uk/our-world/blog/2015/november/4/car-care-month-our-top-3-winter-gadgets-picks/. Last accessed 22/03/2018.

 

 

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