Just read a letter inThe Cumberland News, written by someone justifying their own 4 x 4 ownership on the grounds of safe driving during the recent wintry conditions.
The contributor has rural patient care duties too - another feather in the winter cap, no doubt. "Function" seems to be the justification for this particular purchase.
Some years ago, on New Year's Day, escaping from Torridon, I recall ramming snow drifts in my old Passat; snow chains doing the work, and a wok (YES! A WOK!) digging a trench through to the Inverness road. Temperatures down to -20C.
2 weeks ago, after a (very rare) ice climbing day in Wasdale, I very delicately drove my car from Wasdale to Gosforth on sheet ice, uphill, on one badly fitting snow chain, which threatened to remodel the wing. The roads bore the marks of metal on ice. Chains.
Strikes me that our infrequent harsh winters stop us from thinking outside the box. Before our love affair with 4 x 4's this country stayed mobile with very primitive vehicles, and our regular contact with harsh winters saw us through. (Strips of old carpet under the driving wheels, anyone?). 4 x 4's, fine if you wish, but have a look at some alternatives too.
Sea kayaking, hill walking, a bit of climbing and just taken up sailing.
Been in business in Carlisle for around 20 years (former Managing Director of Jack Wolfskin Ltd.), and a keen believer...