Driving In France

Autumn/Winter Time Checks

As the nights draw in and winter approaches it’s a good time of year to check that your car or motorbike is ready for winter – it’s much easier to do when there is still some daylight to work in.

Check your lights

Make sure all your lights work properly, headlights, sidelights, fog lights, tail lights and brake lights and indicators.

I always reverse into my garage or up to a wall, to check the brake lights if I don’t have someone handy to look for me.

Replace any failed bulbs, and consider carrying a spare bulb kit in your car while driving in the UK as well as when you are driving in France.

Check your wiper blades

Wiper blades that are damaged can be a major safety hazard, leaving blind spots, especially when there is dirty road spray. Test your wipers and washer jets, if they do not completely clear the screen you need to adjust them or replace them.

Dirty or worn wiper blades will judder, leaving stripes across the screen – cleaning the blades and screen with screen wash may resolve the problem. Though to be honest it’d probably worth changing them if they are over a year old.

Keep your car clean

It’s a good idea now to wash and wax your car; this will help it resist corrosion caused by wet weather and salt on the roads. A good quality coat of wax will help throughout the winter, making it easier to rinse off road grime, which should be done weekly if the roads are being gritted.

Winter tyres

It’s a good idea to have winter tyres fitted especially if you are driving up towards the Alps from October onwards. If you are planning on driving in France through the winter months you will still need the normal driving in France travel kit plus a few extras.

The roads can deteriorate very quickly. I always carry a blanket in the car and a snow shovel through the winter months. You cannot be too careful.