Don’t let the onset of winter leave you poor…

Winter kills your motor – 75% of a car’s ageing takes place between November and March. But invest a little time and money now, and cut back on neurosis-inducing bills later…

Battery
According to those party boys in orange at the RAC, 540,000 drivers suffer a vehicle breakdown each year due to a flat battery. Get yours checked at Halfords for a mere £5. They also sell Granville Bat Aids (£3.29), which are tablets you drop into the battery’s cells to add a staggering four years to its life.

Tyres
6% of motorway accidents are the result of under-inflated tyres caused by the drop in temperature. According to tyre manufacturer Bridgestone, a whopping 65% of cars are a tyre-related accident waiting to happen. They’re offering UK drivers a free tyre health check. Visit bridgestone.co.uk for your nearest branch.

Wipers and wash
Replace windscreen wipers as warm weather and “occasional downpours” often causes them to rot. It’s a simple, five-minute job (£20; wiperblades.co.uk). Top up your washer bottle with antifreeze detergent (£9; screwfix.com) to prevent the windscreen from icing over too.

Air-conditioning
Back to Halfords, for an air-con top-up (£40) and fog-free windows. Or risk a crash, killing off your no-claims and blasting your insurance through the roof.

Snow chains
It’s murder fitting things round your tyres. £60 buys a pair of Goodyear Snow Socks (www.snipurl.com/1oifa). Which make you feel invincible as you fantasise about crunching through the snow like a French serial killer hunting his prey in the Alps.

Polish
A good polish such as Zymol isn’t cheap (£12.50; zymol.com). Plus despite the two hours of elbow grease you’ll put in, to passers-by you’ll look like a cock. But it’s time well spent. Winter’s salt-covered roads will eat away at your car’s paintwork. Spray every exposed engine part with a £5 bottle of WD40 to prevent further rust.