Britons have reacted to the big freeze which finally hit the UK, sending temperatures plummeting and covering large parts of the country in snow.
Car accessory retailer Halfords reports drivers stocking up on break down kits, de-icers, anti-freeze, scrapers and snow shovels.
Householders are also determined not to get caught out with a rush on bags of salt to ensure paths and driveways remain clear.
Weather forecasters have warned that the Arctic blast could last for the rest of the month, with sub-zero temperatures predicted for large swathes of the country.
The Met Office and the Highways Agency both issued Amber Alerts, the second highest rating for cold weather. They also warned of transport disruption as cold temperatures refreeze thawing snow, leading to black ice that makes roads extremely hazardous.
Halfords said sales of snow shovels were at their highest ever, while demand for de-icer sales was quadruple this time last year, de-icing salt was up 155 per cent, anti-freeze up 94 per cent, and purchases of ice scrapers increased by 75 per cent. Screenwash, a staple need for motorists in winter conditions, is also selling strongly.
Halfords winter products expert Mark Dolphin said: “Snow and Freezing weather is always very disruptive for motorists. There’s always a huge demand for all the products that help people stay on the road. It’s not just the de-icing products that are needed, a lot more batteries and wiper blades fail so our store colleagues are very busy replacing these for customers.”
A survey carried out by Halfords at the start of winter found more than four in ten (42 per cent) claimed to be better organised than last year, when the country was hit by the lowest temperatures for 15 years. Thousands of car owners have splashed out on winter tyres and taken advantage of garages offering “winter checks”.