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Now, I don’t want to be alarmist but let’s face it, every year the same thing happens. We are happily plodding along through Autumn when suddenly a bout of poor weather hits and the country grinds to a halt.

Remember the Beast from the East? I rest my case.

So here are some simple tips to help you prepare for the bad weather that is bound to be heading our way sooner or later:

• Protect your windscreen. Make sure the windscreen washer is topped up as you will need to keep it clean. These days a good bet is a more concentrated car wash that doesn’t freeze. Also think about having any scratches, chips or abrasions fixed as the cold weather can get into them and make them worse. And don’t forget the de-icer.

• Prepare a checklist. Put a list together of all the things that you need to check. These will include car batteries, bulbs and wiper blades. You don’t want to get stranded in the cold middle of nowhere for the sake of a bulb.

• Get set for really bad weather. Think about packing a survival kit including spare clothes, torch, mobile phone charger, tow rope, shovel and emergency rations including water and chocolate. It may seem extreme but you’ve all seen pictures of massive motorway queues as the snow falls.

• Dress appropriately for the weather. It may be okay to sit in a t-shirt while the heater is blasting out hot air but if it packs up you could be in serious trouble. Take some cold weather clothes with you.

A bit of planning and forethought can save you a lot of expensive hassle. Be safe over the coming months.

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