Snowy gardenWell, with Stephen still on holiday and Eibhlin and Xavier stuck at home, I’m the only one who has managed to beat the snow and make it into the office! (Our Finance Director Mike McEnaney took this picture of his garden to show how it is out his way.) I’m sure everyone is talking about the snow today (perhaps to avoid talking about England’s result last night!). Given the current conditions I’ve done a bit of digging around on the web and found some helpful tips on driving in snow…

• It can take 10 times longer to stop in icy conditions than on a dry road, according to the Highways Agency, so drive slowly, allowing extra room to slow down and stop. Manoeuvre gently, with no harsh braking or acceleration.

• To avoid wheel spin, use the highest gear possible – you can pull away gently in second rather than first.

• To brake on ice or snow without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use the brake gently.

• If you do start to skid, ease off the accelerator but don’t brake suddenly. If your foot is on the brake, ease it off and disengage the clutch.

The Think! road safety site has advice on driving in other hazardous conditions, such as heavy rain and fog. The AA also has a useful checklist on getting your car in shape for winter driving. At Avis we have a ‘Winterisation’ checklist to ensure that the car you rent is safe and ready for the winter weather.

If you have tips for driving in winter, do share them in your comments on this post. You can keep up to date with the latest news on today’s weather conditions on the BBC website.

Please remember to drive carefully, and if there’s more snow to come round your way, perhaps the best driving tip is to leave your car at home if you possibly can, or, even better, stay warm at home yourself! (I must remember that the next time it’s snowing…)

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9 Responses to “Drive safely in the snow”

  1. John Says:

    There is a rumour in the alps that Avis are supplying the new Fiat 4×4 Scendica for snow use without proper snow tires but rather summer all terrain tyres. If this is true it is extremely dangerous and should be rectified immediately before somebody kills themselves thinking they are fully equiped. Summer all terrain tyres have a completely different tread and compound and will turn into spinning frozen blocks of ice. This is a very real danger for any tourists who have hired specifically for their ski holiday.This requres urgent attention.

  2. Pinny Cohen Says:

    I wanted to share with your readers some more tips for driving safely in the snow:

  3. Rob White- Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi John, sorry for the late reply on this. We were just waiting for a response from our team in France.

    I appreciate you raising your concerns with us as health and safety of our customers and staff is, and absolutely should be, paramount.

    As you point out the Fiat Sedici is a “permanent” 4×4 so the drive will optimise to cope with the majority of winter conditions. In addition, to ensure that our customers are able to drive safely in all winter conditions, all of the France “winter” fleet (i.e. the Fiat Sedici and the Hyundai Santa Fe) are equipped with snow chains free of charge.

    If you have any further questions then please do not hesitate to ask.


  4. John Says:

    Hi Rob,

    Thank you for coming back.

    The reality is the 4×4 has been marketed at the ski market by Avis with the implication the Sedici can therefore go anywhere. This is simply not true. The Sedici with proper winter snow tyres as are a legal requirement in Switzerland would be fine.
    Finally the point about snow chains is mute. What is the point of a 4×4 in the mountains when you need snow chains as soon as it snows?
    I have seen the Sedici with the current tyres in action this winter and it is completely inadequate. Thet are designed for very basic bridal path type off road not alpine mountain roads. Your customers would be much better off having a standard front wheel drive with snow tyres/ chains. At least then there will be no sense of false confidence.
    Please can you address the situation by either changing the marketing or by putting on proper snow tyres.

  5. Martin Porter Says:

    I have a 2009 santa Fe and am having trouble finding the right snow chains for it. One suplier even said that they could not be fitted! Could you please advise me as to who makes your snow chains and where I can buy them. Thank you

  6. Vicki Wilson - Marketing, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Martin,

    I am afraid I don’t know the answer to your question. If you let me know where what country and area you are in i will contact a local station to see if they can help.


  7. Bruce Says:

    I have just booked a group D vehicle
    ( citroen C5 )from the Avis car rental at Geneva airport( french side).The travel agent advised me that the car will be fitted with snow tyres but there is no mention of this on the website. I am told it is routine to fit snow tyres on the swiss side of Geneva airport.I was not intending to use snow chains as I am just going straight to the ski resort ( Samoens). Thank you for your advice.


  8. Charlotte - Reservations, Avis UK Says:

    Hi Bruce,

    Thank you for your feedback.
    I am afraid the D group in Geneva does not come with snow tires, you are able to hire snow chains for these but this does come at an additional charge.
    I am sorry if there has been any misunderstand or if the wrong information has been provided.

    If you send me an email to with your booking reference on and the details of how you made this booking I will feed this back to the managers of that team.

    Sorry again for any inconvenience this has caused and if you need any help amending your booking please call our reservation team on 08445 818181 as they will be more than happy to help.

    I hope this answers your question, but if you have any other questions please let me know.


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