Things to remember driving in sand

Posted by: Cal on 11/07/2013

Category: General

While we're well and truly in winter, sometimes there's nothing quite like heading out onto the sand on a bleak day when you're inside the warm comfort of your car taking in the views.

As a nation with such a stunning coastline, it's only natural we want to make the most of it during all seasons.

However, before taking to the sand, there are a few things you'll need to take into consideration. Do you have the right car tyres for the conditions and is your car in the right shape for this kind of terrain? It's important that your car and your tyres have the ability to keep momentum up lest you get stuck!

Check your tyre pressure

Before you hit the sand, it's very important to take a minute to lower your tyre pressure a little. This increases the area of the tyre on the sand so that you get better traction on such tricky ground.

The right level of pressure will differ depending on each vehicle and its tyres - however the absolute minimum for pressure is usually 10psi.

Speed and handling

On the sand and at such low pressure, you'll need to keep your speed low. Don't attempt driving over anything but soft sand at this pressure.

Other sand driving tips and tricks

The aim is to drive as smoothly as possible. That means no big increases in speed or sudden braking - otherwise you'll soon find yourself stuck. When you stop, allow the vehicle to coast gently until it reaches a stop so there's no sand build up in front of your wheels. And be especially careful when turning.

If you do have the misfortune of getting stuck, try reversing slowly back over your tyre tracks then moving forward again - never just accelerate and dig in!

Depending on what your tyre pressure is at this moment, you could try lowering it to the minimum of 10 psi to get you going again. Remove any sand built up around the wheels or the underneath your car and try giving the vehicle a big shove!

However, if it really won't budge you might need to call someone for help with a snatch strap, winching or jacking.

When you get home

After a joy ride in the sand, be sure to give your car a good clean so that there's no salty, sandy beach residue left.