With the shorter days and longer nights of winter, we’re all spending more time driving in the dark. Night-time driving brings a new set of challenges, so here are some of our top tips to help you stay safe on the road during the evening hours.

Check your car bulbs

It’s illegal to drive with a bulb that’s failed – and that goes for any bulb, not just headlights. Make sure you check your bulbs regularly, and consider keeping a spare bulb kit in the car in case a bulb fails when you’re out and about. Just enter your vehicle registration number in our online checker to find the appropriate kit for your vehicle.

If you find that you need new bulbs, we’ve got an extensive range that’ll keep your lights shining and your vision clear on your journeys this winter.

It’s also good to know that WeFit bulbs, so pop into your local Halfords store or autocentre to take advantage of this safe and contactless service. And if you’d like a second opinion on your bulbs, then our Free 5-Point Car Check is a great starting point.

Pick the right car bulb

Your depth perception, ability to distinguish colour, and peripheral vision are all worse in low-light conditions. Investing in high-performance headlight bulbs can help put up to 150% more light on the road, exactly where you need it. This will increase your viewing distance and make street signs and road markings clearer, helping you to spot hazards sooner.

Need help picking the right bulbs for your car? Head over to our Car Bulb Buyers’ Guide or check out our article on the ultimate list of car bulb types for a handy breakdown of halogen, LED and Xenon HID bulbs.

Buy car bulbs in pairs

It’s always a good idea to replace bulbs in pairs – that way, the light output will always be even from both headlights. This is especially important for night-time driving because it’ll give you the best chance of seeing hazards early and won’t compromise depth perception.

Ensure your bulbs are properly aligned

If you’ve ever been dazzled by other road drivers and blamed high-performance beams, chances are that the headlights weren’t properly aligned. Headlights slip out of position over time, which means that the light’s not focused correctly on the road. Make sure to get them realigned every so often to get the maximum amount of light pointed at the right point on the road.

Keep your windscreen clean

Another way to maximise your visibility at night is to keep your windscreen and mirrors clean. Make sure your screen wash is topped up on a regular basis and that you keep an eye on the condition of your wiper blades. If they start missing patches on your windscreen or making annoying squeaking noises, then it’s time to invest in some replacements.

Our Free 5-Point Car Check also covers your wiper blades, so book an appointment if you’d like an expert opinion on their condition and advice about replacements.

Stay alert

The danger of falling asleep at the wheel is very high at night and accounts for 20% of serious accidents on motorways and monotonous roads in the UK. Make sure you’re well rested before you get in the car and take regular breaks – and remember that caffeine is no substitute for a proper rest!

Stock up on breakdown essentials

Your car’s not the only one that’ll benefit from being able to see (and be seen) in the dark. Pop a torch and a hi-vis jacket into your boot or glove box and you won’t regret it if you end up breaking down at night.

We’d also recommend bringing along a blanket just in case it gets chilly, and taking out Halfords breakdown cover to ensure that help is there when you need it.

Keep your vehicle well maintained

To decrease your chances of getting stranded in the dark, it’s a good idea to make sure you regularly maintain your vehicle throughout the winter months.

We’re here to lend a helping hand with our 10-Point Car Check, which covers areas such as your battery, bulbs, wiper blades, screen wash, and tyres. The service can be booked online and is available at all our stores and autocentres, so it’s pretty convenient.

Or why not join the Halfords Motoring Club instead? Join today to access a range of amazing benefits and discounts that are designed to keep you moving, keep you safe and keep you saving.

It’s free to join and you’ll receive money off your MOT, a free car health check and a welcome voucher that can be spent on any Halfords product or service.

Or choose our Premium membership for a small monthly fee (or a one-off payment) to unlock exclusive member pricing on all motoring products and services online and across our stores, garages and Halfords Mobile Experts, as well as a variety of other benefits that will help you to keep moving for less.

With so much to enjoy, this is too good an opportunity to miss!

Join the Halfords Motoring Club today at www.halfords.com/motoring-club.

You want to drive with confidence in the dark this autumn and winter. You want Halfords.