Zurich has launched a new website to help motorists cope with the pitfalls of winter driving.

The site coldstart.co.uk has information and links to useful websites on basic car maintenance, in-car entertainment for children and planning winter motoring holidays.

Zurich spokesman Max Todd said more than 100,000 Zurich policyholders used its free roadside assistance last year, with some common problems being cold engines, frozen locks and being stuck in snow or icy conditions.

“Winter's also a busy time of year for weather-related accidents, with breaking distances increased due to wet leaves or ice on the road,” Todd said.

Met Office head forecaster Ewen McCallum said it was still too early to predict the amount of frost and snow expected this winter.

“But even in mild winters many motorists get caught out by sudden cold snaps, freezing windscreens and washer bottles and snow on the roads,” he said.