Winter Car Checks

Performing winter car checks on your PCO vehicle could improve your road safety during the colder months of the year. Did you know that on average vehicle breakdowns soar by 20% over the winter season? Furthermore, a recent study stated a car will break down every six seconds in the UK across December and January. This will total almost one million vehicles.

Are you considering becoming a taxi driver full-time or to top up your existing income? Our handy winter car checks guide could help to keep on the road and earning. As specialist providers of PCO car hire vehicles, we treat our customer’s safety as a top priority. Therefore, we have put together these useful tips to help prepare you for the challenges that winter weather can bring.

Peace of mind this winter

Firstly, with our PCO package, you can have peace of mind knowing that we can keep you on the move. Indeed, Rapid Vehicle Management provides multiple built-in benefits which means you can spend more time on the road earning. These extras include:

  • Windscreen cover
  • Roadside assistance
  • Servicing and maintenance
  • Tyres and brakes replacement

Should the worst happen this winter you can rest assured knowing your replacement and repair costs are covered.

Winter car check essentials

Preparation is the key to surviving the challenges of winter driving. It is always worth noting that with safety first in mind, that people will drive slower in bad weather conditions, so make sure to account for this loss of time before starting any job or journey. Here are a few simple vehicle checks you can make to your winter routine to avoid being stuck at the roadside with an unresponsive vehicle.

Antifreeze

If you just have water in your radiator then you run the risk of it freezing during cold weather. This leads to the water expanding and potentially causing cracks and leaks in the radiator filaments. Damage of this kind can lead to poor engine performance which could lead to further complications down the road. Avoid this by employing a 60:40 mix of water and good quality antifreeze in your vehicle. PrestoneComma, and Hexeal all offer high-quality varieties that will aid peak performance. Be sure to consult your user manual before using any antifreeze in older vehicles as they may react poorly to chemical compounds employed by modern manufacturers.

Wiper blades

These rubber lifesavers are the difference between you and a windscreen clogged with salt, sleet, and snow. For your safety, make sure the blades are operating correctly before any journey in bad weather. Run your finger along the blade feeling for pits or tears in the rubber and try to locate areas where there is a lack of contact between the wiper and the windshield. Replacements can be sourced online or at vehicle accessory stores and you can install them yourself (consult the user’s manual if in doubt) or pay a mechanic to install them for you.

Windscreen washer fluid

Having the correct blend of seasonal washer fluid in your car is essential during cold winter months. Not only does it contain antifreeze which will stop it from turning to ice on the windscreen and in the reservoir, but it also decreases the risk of reduced visibility when carrying customers to their destination. Remember to check washer jets too as these can become clogged in cold weather. If you notice a drop in washer pressure act quickly, as burned-out motors and fuses can be costly to repair.

Winter Car Check Emergency Kit

With your winter car checks done it is time to prepare for every eventuality. Therefore, it is always handy to have an emergency kit in your boot or glove box, packed with quality-of-life extras that could improve your comfort at the roadside and your chances of a speedy recovery.

Firstly, your kit needs to be easily accessible. Secondly, it should be stored out of view of your customers. Finally, it should contain useful items that are simple to replace. Your kit is the lifeline that can help sustain you in the unlikely circumstance that you are stranded, be that somewhere familiar or many miles from home. Some simple emergency kit items include:

Torch:

This is useful if you need to assess vehicle repairs in the dark or fog. Wind up versions are available that do not require batteries. You can also use a torch to illuminate your vehicle interior in the event of a flat battery to raise both visibility and your spirits.

Scraper and De-icer:

A handy tool and spray that will improve visibility both on and off-road. Always use a plastic ice scraper, as metal tools can damage your windscreen. Also, credit or debit card substitutes can snap easily in cold temperatures leaving you without access to funds you may require later. The hazards of not driving with a clear windscreen include impaired vision, increased chance of accidental damage, and potential penalty points and fines.

Jump Leads:

Get familiar with the jump start process beforehand so you can act quickly and with care to ensure a smooth jump start with a minimum of fuss. Incorrect usage can result in damage to your vehicle’s alternator meaning additional costly repairs. Contact friends or family for a jump start, or simply wait for recovery services to arrive.

In-car charger or power bank:

Keep your phone fully charged using a USB charger or power bank. Chargers utilise carports, whilst power banks can be charged and left in the glove box till required. A good quality power bank can charge a phone up to 7 times.

Warm jacket, gloves, and hat:

These items are excellent to have if you must walk to a phone or wait for a recovery vehicle in freezing temperatures. Maintaining body heat is key to remaining comfortable and calm in any breakdown situation.

Drinking water and snacks:

Having access to a sealed bottle of water is a comfort, and energy or cereal bars are conveniently sized for glove compartments. Both maintain your morale and energy levels whilst waiting for assistance. Even chewing gum is a great stress relief and can distract you mentally whilst you wait for assistance.

Want more PCO private hire rental information?

At Rapid Vehicle Management, we offer our all-inclusive PCO car rental product. We are here to help you drive away in a modern, desirable PCO car so that you can maximise your earnings as a PCO private hire driver this season hassle-free.

Our onboarding process is simple and fast:

  • Obtain a weekly price immediately
  • Reserve your car today
  • Choose to take delivery or collect your car for up to 7 days

Click here now or call 01732 927 159 for more information on our great range of PCO private hire cars today!

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