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Self drive/self catering newbies: advice wanted

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
What do people think about modern driving aids, for example adaptive cruies control and lane guidance. I have been a fan of cruise control for years, though my wife rarely uses it, but I am not so sure about adaptive cruise control. With the adaptive system I find I am cruising along and because there is a slower vehicle ahead the speed starts to drop but I don't notice then suddenly ealise that I am travelling at 100 instead of 130 and there is no gap in the outside lane to pull out to. With the normal system I'd notice the difference straight away and react earlier. As far as I can tell in normal operation Lane guidance does nothing. Both systems really come into their own when crawing in a jam on the motorway.

@j b, Are you planning a long ferry crossing then?
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@johnE, I really like the adaptive cruise control, the one on my volvo is excellent and ad the car also automatically remains in the lane I find:
1. I spend more time looking further forward for hazards and also in the mirror than I otherwise might if using speedometer to monitor speed.
2. It is inherently safer than simple cruise control, which is comforting
3. I am much less tired at the end of a long journey

Your point about not noticing you are slowing down is actually a bit worrying. Why would you notice more that there is slower traffic in your lane when using simple cruise control than adaptive cruise control? The only explanation I can see is that you are paying less attention when using adaptive cruise control. That is a misuse of the technology, you remain responsible for driving with due care and attention and should have the same level of concentration regardless of the technology you use.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@johnE, yes the ferry crossings are overnight.

For us going via Dover would need an overnight stop somewhere so not much difference in that respect. The ferry we took in July was very well organised from the point of view of Covid protection, so we don't see infection risk any different from our day-to-day activities at home.
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I love my adaptive cruise. I have hud that tells me that there is a car in range and it slows, as it gets closer, the image gets bigger until it’s 2 seconds away, then stays locked at that distance.
The only time it could have caused an issue was when I pulled over from lane 1 to 2 approaching a slip road to let cars join when someone overtook the van entering motorway and shot from slip road to lane 3 a few feet in front of me and my car breaked hard.
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Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Quote:

That is a misuse of the technology, you remain responsible for driving with due care and attention and should have the same level of concentration regardless of the technology you use.

Indeed.
Quote:

I love my adaptive cruise. I have hud that tells me that there is a car in range and it slows, as it gets closer, the image gets bigger until it’s 2 seconds away, then stays locked at that distance.

I think that would be really useful in my car (well actually my wifes). It would be nice if it displayed that it was reducing speed due to a vehicle ahead, rather than me having to look down at the speado and work out what is happening.
I do beleive that these systems do actually make driving safer but it just annoys me at times.
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@JohnE If you have a BMW then be aware that the cruise control suppresses the EcoPro freeweheeling. This isn't usually significant, but on a long journey you may notice the difference in fuel consumption. Because I usually fill up at the Ashford Shell garage on the junction before Eurotunnel, and have the receipts, I reckon that I get an extra 60kms from the first tank of fuel on the drive down from Coquelles if I consciously drop cruise control when in EcoPro mode on longer downhill sections. It's not so much a cost thing, more that I can refuel that much further on, and not have to do so again before our destination.


Last edited by You'll need to Register first of course. on Thu 3-12-20 16:22; edited 1 time in total
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@LaForet, very interesting. An extra 60 km is not to be sneezed at. With my wifes Skoda I have noticed almost no improvement in fuel consumption on ecconomy mode, only that the car is less pleasant to drive. I haven't noticed whether or not it freewheels when cruise conrol is on. I think fuel consumption is shightly worse in "sport" mode but it is by far the most pleasant driving mode and I consider it essential for those final few miles up the mountain.

We usually leave the midlands on a full tank, then we refuel between Dijon and Bourg en Bresse. If we do not do much driving in the resort then only one fill up is required for the return journey. It does about 600 miles on a tank full. Thinking about it this summer we made it from The Austrian border to Beaconsfield services without needing to refuel
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
pam w wrote:
The worst place I've encountered for multiple tolls is the Torino ring road. But when I drove it a lot and looked at getting an Italian péage tag you had to have an Italian bank account. I think it's got much easier in the last few years, but I don't anticipate driving that section much, if it all, in the years to come.


The Italians are getting better - I can have my Italian "gubbins" swiitched on for France. As I recall it's a similar deal to Liber T in that I am charged €1.70 each month that I use it in France plus the tolls. I'm surpised that Telepeage users haven't been offered the same deal.
Maybe they'll get around to offering the Europabrucke on the Brenner? I know that I can prepay a return on the bridge but it needs the same registration both ways so if I use one motor one way and another the other, I need two returns. . . .
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LaForet wrote:
@JohnE If you have a BMW then be aware that the cruise control suppresses the EcoPro freeweheeling. This isn't usually significant, but on a long journey you may notice the difference in fuel consumption. Because I usually fill up at the Ashford Shell garage on the junction before Eurotunnel, and have the receipts, I reckon that I get an extra 60kms from the first tank of fuel on the drive down from Coquelles if I consciously drop cruise control on longer downhill sections. It's not so much a cost thing, more that I can refuel that much further on, and not have to do so again before our destination.


Do you mean the Stop 24 at junction 11? With their prices filling up there will negate any saving made on EcoPro. When I last looked the diesel price was C15ppl more than the BP just off junction 12. Timewise calling into Stop 24 or going past Eurotunnel J11a to the BP will be negligible as you can pop back up the A20 to the tunnel.
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ski3 wrote:
It's possibly Freddie Laker that was part of this type of service.


The Bristol was used by "Silver City" as well as British Air Ferries.
Laker used his company Aviation Traders engineering Ltd to convert DC4s to ATL Carvairs which were used by British Air Ferries amongst others.
As a family we flew from Hurn to Cherbourg once on Silver City. Our return was by ferry from Dieppe to Newhaven. Two ships, one for the passengers, one for the cars and yes, the cars were lifted on in cargo nets.
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knackered knees wrote:
LaForet wrote:
@JohnE If you have a BMW then be aware that the cruise control suppresses the EcoPro freeweheeling. This isn't usually significant, but on a long journey you may notice the difference in fuel consumption. Because I usually fill up at the Ashford Shell garage on the junction before Eurotunnel, and have the receipts, I reckon that I get an extra 60kms from the first tank of fuel on the drive down from Coquelles if I consciously drop cruise control on longer downhill sections. It's not so much a cost thing, more that I can refuel that much further on, and not have to do so again before our destination.


Do you mean the Stop 24 at junction 11? With their prices filling up there will negate any saving made on EcoPro. When I last looked the diesel price was C15ppl more than the BP just off junction 12. Timewise calling into Stop 24 or going past Eurotunnel J11a to the BP will be negligible as you can pop back up the A20 to the tunnel.


Even better Tesco at J12
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@DJL, Certainly is and clubcard points, but not as easy to find as the BP.
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The Tesco at J10 is adjacent to the M20 and about 300 yards from the exit coastbound.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
BergenBergen wrote:
The Tesco at J10 is adjacent to the M20 and about 300 yards from the exit coastbound.


It's a b*gger now with the new M20 junction, so don't try this one now.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I wasn't suggesting people must get their fuel at the Shell garage. Buy it where you want to. When you want to.

My point was that (wherever you buy your fuel, from whatever outlet, at whatever point in your trip) if you have a BMW with EcoPro and cruise control, on a long journey, then you may well get noticeably more mpg if you're aware that EcoPro turns off the downhill engine coasting.

I only mentioned the station in question to underline that I was in the position to be sure that I had a full tank and the same baseline for comparing journeys and thus fuel consumption.


Last edited by Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name: on Wed 2-12-20 19:35; edited 1 time in total
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Lost with all the details, but not sure if anyone has mentioned a tin opener (and possibly potato peeler)...

I'd propose to take with you whatever you want to eat for the first evening meal and the first breakfast. That way no stress.

Funny stories - there might be various but at the time that satnav maps weren't being updated very quickly, somewhere in Spain I followed mine carefully and turned off the motorway, paid the coins to the nice lady in the booth, drove a mile, round a roundabout, took the indicated turn, drove a mile, said hello again to the nice lady in the booth who humoured us as mad foreigners, paid a bit more, and carried on my journey back on the motorway...
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Some light reading about previous snowy events on the roads ... Couldn't find the really bad half term where people driving were put up in sports halls etc.
https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=115242
https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2841092
https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3144971
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Layne wrote:
ptex wrote:
I'm not sure but I think snow tyres might be a manadatory requirement in the alpine regions of France

Better to call them winter tyres. They are not mandatory anywhere in France.


No, I made the comment because of this piece in the press sometime early last year, or late the year before. From one of the tyre threads IIRC....

"Après l’Allemagne, l’Autriche, la Finlande ou encore l’Estonie, c’est au tour de la France de passer à l’action et de rendre obligatoire les pneumatiques hiver, plus communément appelés pneus neige.

Un décret en Conseil d’Etat doit en fixer les modalités d’application. Ainsi, le ministère de l’Intérieur a entamé les consultations avec les différentes parties prenantes (préfets des zones montagneuses, ministère des Transports, manufacturiers de pneus…)."

"After Germany, Austria, Finland and Estonia, it is now the turn of France to take action and make winter tires, more commonly known as snow tires, compulsory.

A decree in the Council of State must lay down the terms of application. Thus, the Ministry of the Interior has begun consultations with the various stakeholders (prefects of mountainous areas, the Ministry of Transport, tire manufacturers, etc.).
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LaForet wrote:
I wasn't suggesting people must get their fuel at the Shell garage. Buy it where you want to. When you want to.

My point was that (wherever you buy your fuel, from whatever outlet, at whatever point in your trip) if you have a BMW with EcoPro and cruise control, on a long journey, then you may well get noticeably more mpg if you're aware that EcoPro turns off the downhill engine coasting.

I only mentioned the station in question to underline that I was in the position to be sure that I had a full tank and the same baseline for comparing journeys and thus fuel consumption.


I get that, but some people on here will take what's posted as gospel. As a local I was pointing out alternatives. BergenBergen mentioned the Tesco at Ashford. Now they've altered junction 10 and put in 10a you can't just quickly pop on and off the M20 to fill up at Tesco and it will be worse with the new lorry park aka Farage's Garage Smile
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When I'm driving hundreds of miles at an uneconomical speed of 110 - 130 kph to go on an expensive holiday where I will happily pay huge sums to be pulled up a hill in order to ski down it, stopping for an expensive hot chocolate on the way there is no way I am going to be wasting my time faffing around looking to save a few quid on my fuel bill.
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ptex wrote:
Layne wrote:
ptex wrote:
I'm not sure but I think snow tyres might be a manadatory requirement in the alpine regions of France

Better to call them winter tyres. They are not mandatory anywhere in France.


No, I made the comment because of this piece in the press sometime early last year, or late the year before. From one of the tyre threads IIRC....

"Après l’Allemagne, l’Autriche, la Finlande ou encore l’Estonie, c’est au tour de la France de passer à l’action et de rendre obligatoire les pneumatiques hiver, plus communément appelés pneus neige.

Un décret en Conseil d’Etat doit en fixer les modalités d’application. Ainsi, le ministère de l’Intérieur a entamé les consultations avec les différentes parties prenantes (préfets des zones montagneuses, ministère des Transports, manufacturiers de pneus…)."

"After Germany, Austria, Finland and Estonia, it is now the turn of France to take action and make winter tires, more commonly known as snow tires, compulsory.

A decree in the Council of State must lay down the terms of application. Thus, the Ministry of the Interior has begun consultations with the various stakeholders (prefects of mountainous areas, the Ministry of Transport, tire manufacturers, etc.).

Decree didn't get signed https://planetski.eu/2019/11/19/compulsory-winter-tyres-france-delays-plans/

But I I have read this which I wasn't aware of
Quote:
The rules are however about to change in France, and as of November 2021 local authorities in 48 départments will be able to make lists of towns and cities in their areas where winter tyres become compulsory.
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I'm going to try doing the trip (London to Verbier) in a Tesla later this month. I think I can do it with only 3 supercharger stops along the way.
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Contrarian wrote:
I'm going to try doing the trip (London to Verbier) in a Tesla later this month. I think I can do it with only 3 supercharger stops along the way.


Very interested in your experience, I’m thinking of going that route (Tesla, not Verbier!). Which model do you have?

We have an electric vehicle thread https://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?t=152039&start=80
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pam w wrote:
When I'm driving hundreds of miles at an uneconomical speed of 110 - 130 kph to go on an expensive holiday where I will happily pay huge sums to be pulled up a hill in order to ski down it, stopping for an expensive hot chocolate on the way there is no way I am going to be wasting my time faffing around looking to save a few quid on my fuel bill.

How expensive it is surely depends on a lot of factors - including reducing your speed, stopping at a supermarche close to the motorway, taking a flask rather than buying a hot chocolate - some of which may be a faff but a very minor one...
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Layne wrote:
pam w wrote:
When I'm driving hundreds of miles at an uneconomical speed of 110 - 130 kph to go on an expensive holiday where I will happily pay huge sums to be pulled up a hill in order to ski down it, stopping for an expensive hot chocolate on the way there is no way I am going to be wasting my time faffing around looking to save a few quid on my fuel bill.

How expensive it is surely depends on a lot of factors - including reducing your speed, stopping at a supermarche close to the motorway, taking a flask rather than buying a hot chocolate - some of which may be a faff but a very minor one...


J 12 Tesco means a 2 mile/5 min faff (and usually Mrs DJL nips into the store for last-minute things-that-we-forgot whilst I fill up). Saves a few quid but more importantly you start with a full tank which in my case means next fill with a virtually empty tank is alpine grade diesel with proper anti-gel. I can’t quite manage that if I deplete the tank by the c.100 miles UK side.
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@DJL, ah, I wasn't aware of that thread.

It's a model 3 (long range). I've never driven more than about 60 miles in one go, so it will be a new experience. I'll keep you posted.


Which Tesla do you have?
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Contrarian wrote:
@DJL, ah, I wasn't aware of that thread.

It's a model 3 (long range). I've never driven more than about 60 miles in one go, so it will be a new experience. I'll keep you posted.


Which Tesla do you have?


None yet! Looking at a model S 85D from around 2017. Still a half baked plan!
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@DJL, I thought about either a model S or an X, but I concluded that in fact the model 3 is probably just about as good on almost all metrics (unless you need the larger number of seats offered by the X).
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
S of that vintage a bit cheaper and (maybe?) less depreciation. And I’ve never had a “supercar”!
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
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It could take some time to get to Verbier - see https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/nov/28/electric-cars-porsche-charging-network.

The wind direction appears to make a significant difference to my fuel consumption. A northerly wind on the way to the Alps means not only better fuel consumption but also better snow, a southerly one on the way back improves the fuel consumption even more. I'm not sure why but the fuel consumption is always better with warmer weather. Even though you drop your speed to 110 rain always reduces the range.
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@johnE, yes I read that article the other day. The big difference between that couple's situation and mine is that they're using a Porsche, and so can't access the Tesla superchargers. There are fast chargers for non-Teslas, but I think the network is much less well developed. At the moment, at least, this is a huge reason for preferring a Tesla to other brands of electric car.
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Link needs to lose the final . https://www.theguardian.com/money/2020/nov/28/electric-cars-porsche-charging-network

@Contrarian, that supercharger point is central to my thinking
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Contrarian wrote:
@johnE, yes I read that article the other day. The big difference between that couple's situation and mine is that they're using a Porsche, and so can't access the Tesla superchargers. There are fast chargers for non-Teslas, but I think the network is much less well developed. At the moment, at least, this is a huge reason for preferring a Tesla to other brands of electric car.


Yep Tesla supercharging network is miles ahead of the rest. I have a charger in Verbier if you need one, although the Supercharger in Martigny is super handy for Valais trips.
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@BobinCH, very kind, thanks! I'll probably top up at Martigny.
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Layne wrote:
ptex wrote:
Layne wrote:
ptex wrote:
I'm not sure but I think snow tyres might be a manadatory requirement in the alpine regions of France

Better to call them winter tyres. They are not mandatory anywhere in France.


No, I made the comment because of this piece in the press sometime early last year, or late the year before. From one of the tyre threads IIRC....

"Après l’Allemagne, l’Autriche, la Finlande ou encore l’Estonie, c’est au tour de la France de passer à l’action et de rendre obligatoire les pneumatiques hiver, plus communément appelés pneus neige.

Un décret en Conseil d’Etat doit en fixer les modalités d’application. Ainsi, le ministère de l’Intérieur a entamé les consultations avec les différentes parties prenantes (préfets des zones montagneuses, ministère des Transports, manufacturiers de pneus…)."

"After Germany, Austria, Finland and Estonia, it is now the turn of France to take action and make winter tires, more commonly known as snow tires, compulsory.

A decree in the Council of State must lay down the terms of application. Thus, the Ministry of the Interior has begun consultations with the various stakeholders (prefects of mountainous areas, the Ministry of Transport, tire manufacturers, etc.).

Decree didn't get signed https://planetski.eu/2019/11/19/compulsory-winter-tyres-france-delays-plans/

But I I have read this which I wasn't aware of
Quote:
The rules are however about to change in France, and as of November 2021 local authorities in 48 départments will be able to make lists of towns and cities in their areas where winter tyres become compulsory.


It seems the advice on local signage from your link requiring winter/snow/M+S with snow symbol is now reflected on the Continental tyre website. Having said that, driving rules or not, on snowy alpine roads on summer only tyres..... been there, done that, never again.
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Loving this thread!?!

@zikomo, I love all the driving aids in the Volvo. Adaptive CC is brilliant and more fuel efficient I find. There is also the lane keeper function and driver assist, doing the steering for you! So all I do is rest my foot on the brake and keep two hands on the wheel to keep driver assist active. There is an alert on Volvos to show you when the car in front is slowing and what speed you'll slow to.

Thinking about getting a doofer, the emovis one look great, will lend to my sister who lives north of Lille but still haven't got one yet?!? We have two pre-schoolers and they wake up when we stop to do tolls so this will be a must rolling eyes Anyone got good links to back of the seat iPad holders?

On chains, I've got to get some of the fancy ones so not to ruin the tyres and hubs apparently Shocked £200 and up, ebay here I come.
We have old seat cushions from Twickenham that make great kneelers. Head torch is a great shout, we've taken cheap gardening gloves which do well. And the practise is certainly worthwhile

On Mishaps, we took 12 of us Med students from London to Alpe D'Huez in 2 Vauxhall Corsas and a VW Polo with a partial retractable roof Confused
10 ski/board bags on two roof racks and 4 students per car.
My corsa wouldn't start off the ferry and we had to jump start it at every stop through the night. The highlight being on a frozen aire car park trying to get traction. The Polo developed a warning light near Dijon, they put gaffa tape over it.....and the problem went away!! Laughing The other Corsa went the wrong way and drove into Switzerland for some time......

We had a huge dump that year and a good snow shovel is worth 10x it's weight in gold. we couldnt see our cars as they were completely buried, 2 hr dig out was no fun.

A couple of bits of advice I've not seen mentioned is try to get your team to pack in soft bags not hard suitcases, makes packing the boot easier. Also sensible footwear accessible in the car, when a blizzard hits and it's time to chain up in the snowy chaining area the light comfy driving shoes aren't the best.

Also high vis vest is mandatory, the popo love to ping a Brit with that. Don't forget headlight reflectors and the GB sticker!?!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Don't know if it's been mentioned before, but do not use cruise control in snow, ice or heavy rain conditions.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
xanderajma wrote:


On chains, I've got to get some of the fancy ones so not to ruin the tyres and hubs apparently Shocked £200 and up, ebay here I come.


I bet you could find 2nd hand winter tyres with rims for £200 & the get cheap £20 chains to ruin the tyres & hubs with
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xanderajma wrote:
On chains, I've got to get some of the fancy ones so not to ruin the tyres and hubs apparently Shocked £200 and up, ebay here I come.

My wife cut out a couple of pieces of thick felt to put over the hubs. Not sure how the chains ruin the tyres if used correctly.
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I got lucky a couple of years ago with some fancy self-tensioning chains that attach to a wheel stud adapter, 2nd hand on ebay so worth a try. ~£300 worth for £65 but I think that was in September. That plus some spare alloys + winter tyres for a really good price here https://www.deutsche-parts.co.uk/

@Frosty the snowman - why no cruise control in those conditions?
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