Must-Read Tips for Driving a Rental Car in Winter Weather

Winter means cosy nights in by the fire, quality time with the ones we love, and warming comfort food. But it also means cold weather and the potential for dangerous driving conditions. Snow, ice, rain and sleet are just the obvious threats facing drivers during winter; Arctic blasts of wind can cause danger, affecting stability and causing drivers to swerve, while fog and mist affect drivers’ ability to see.

Give the car a quick check over
It’s vital to make sure you have at least half a tank full of petrol before you set off on a long distance journey, this is something that can be overlooked when you’re eager to get on the road. 

Top tip
While you’re checking the mechanics, make sure all of your lights work as well - you don’t want to get on the road only to realise one of your brake lights are out.

Check your windscreen before you travel
Always make sure the windscreen is clean and that your wipers are working properly. Reaching for a boiled kettle to melt any ice on windows is a big no-no, especially when you’ve hired a car. The heat of the water can crack the windows, and no one wants a hefty repair bill.

Top tip
Using the air conditioning and heating in your car properly is a quick way to demist the car's windscreen effectively. The heating will condense on the windows causing mist; using air conditioning at the same time will help keep the air dry.

Check the weather forecast and plan your route
Have a quick look over your route, the road conditions, and the weather before you set off on your journey. If weather conditions look severe or the roads are covered in ice, it may be sensible to delay your journey or find an alternative, safer route. Similarly, if you're going to an alpine area, check the snow forecast and only travel when it’s safe to.

Top tip
If the weather looks hazardous but your travel really can't be put off, check that your vehicle is ready for the road, clear your car of any snow or ice (including the roof), make sure you allow additional time for your journey, and drive slowly and with caution. If you end up skidding, don’t panic; keep your hands tight on the steering wheel and your foot off the accelerator, steering slowly in the direction of the skid.

Preparing for a long journey
● Make sure the car you’re driving has a fully stocked emergency kit.
● Charge up your mobile phone, or take your charger with you. If you’re using your phone for navigation the battery will be used up quickly - you might need it in an emergency.
● It may sound obvious, but it’s important to make sure you check your journey before you set off. Checking the route, weather and vehicle before you set off can save you a lot of hassle.

For car hire or supercar hire, book direct with Hertz for the best rental car prices – guaranteed. Visit to get a quote in less than 60 seconds. Similarly, if you have any winter driving tips, let us know on Facebook or Twitter.