Why might you need snow chains and what should you buy?
Snow chains are one of those items that most of us, certainly those who live in the south of England, never think of until we find ourselves in a situation where we actually need them. Once that situation arises of course theres nothing you can do about it. You either have a set of snow chains with you or you dont!
Its fair to say that most of us can go for years without ever getting into conditions that warrant the use of snow chains, but not all of us. Even the sunny south has its remote high lying areas where winter quite often brings enough snow to cause problems to drivers.
Further north in England and in Scotland severe winter weather is much more common, the hills are higher and the wild remote areas are wilder and more remote. Go west to Wales and the same is true. West Country winters can be pretty bleak too.
Even if you dont live in any of these particular areas, none of them are so far away from you that you can be sure you wont have occasion to visit them in winter even if you do try to avoid doing so! None of us should be too complacent about these things.
You may feel that the likelihood of you needing to use snow chains is so low that its not worth buying them. Well, maybe, but many motorists carry a fire extinguisher in the car and you may be one of them. Good for you if you are, but how often do you expect to have to use it? You hope you never will! It was worth buying and fitting it though, just in case. For most people snow chains are like that. For some of course theyre an annual necessity.
Just like fire extinguishers snow chains dont need to be particularly expensive. There are plenty of good cheap snow chains available that are perfectly adequate for most of us to carry, "just in case."
If you never drive outside of the UK then its up to you whether you take the precaution of carrying snow chains. The Law has nothing to say on the subject. However, in parts of continental Europe its different. In the alpine regions of Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Germany and France it is a legal requirement that snow chains or some other kind of traction aid be carried in any vehicle. Your vehicle is likely to be checked before entering the region and entry will be refused if you dont have the required equipment on board. All the Scandinavian countries have the same requirements.
Skiing holidays are probably the most obvious reason for visiting those parts of Europe though there are plenty of other holidays that may involve driving there. You might have to go there on business anyway. Whatever your reason for going there by car a set of snow chains in the boot will keep you out of more than one kind of trouble.
Whats that you say? Youre convinced and youre going to go out and buy some snow chains? Thats great but the next question of course is, what should you buy?
The first thing to be clear about is what you intend to use them for. If youre Mr Average Motorist and you just want a set to carry in the boot just in case you ever get caught out in semi arctic conditions, or to comply with the law on your winter holiday to Austria, thats one thing. If youre a North Yorkshire farmer who needs to bring sheep down from the Dales in a Land Rover through snow drifts, thats quite another.
For Mr Average Motorist a set of quite cheap snow chains made from 9mm steel link which live in a neat case in the car boot is ideal. You can pay under Â£30.00 for a good quality set designed for ordinary cars. If you dont mind paying a bit more for convenience there is an alternative.
Fabric tyre covers are much easier to fit and remove. Made from a tough synthetic material which is water repellent they come in their own carry bag. They do need to be rinsed and dried after use before going back in their bag, but youd do that with chains anyway. Fabric covers cost a bit more but they are easy to use.
Someone like the dales farmer will need something more substantial and the snow chains for 4x4 vehicles are made from much heavier 16mm steel, hence they are more expensive, but obviously they can be expected to cope with much harder and heavier use.
So we should all consider carrying snow chains, just in case. Theyre not expensive either
Fasteronline - UK car accessories specialist stock a huge range of cheap snow chains. If you are looking for car accessories then visit http://www.fasteronline.co.uk.
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