Chances are that by the time you read this, you’ll be up to your armpits in snow - a snowmaggedon.

Welcome to the annual scare story courtesy of the Met Office. Who knows? They could be right this year. So far, it has been winter tyre marketing departments that have been the busiest. As we all know, a set of winter tyres is all you need to transform a rear-wheel-drive skideroomobile into something that sticks to the ice.

If you’re after a 4x4, you may well be too late, according to auction firm Manheim, which says prices have surged by an average of more than £1200 (17.6%) since August. 

Compared with September last year, the average price of used 4x4s sold by Manheim was up by more than £2400 (41.7%), further indicating that values are rising earlier than in 2014. But we don’t all need the sort of blingy 4x4s that car dealers are bidding for. There are alternatives.

What could be more alternative than a small, light, front-wheel-drive hatch? In the midst of an icy car park, I’ve seen them thrive as Volvos slip and slide. If all you want to do is get to the station and do local shopping, a teeny Daihatsu Cuore will do for a few hundred pounds. There aren’t many around now, though. As an alternative, a Kia Picanto - specifically, a 1.0-litre 2004 example with a fair few miles on the clock for around £800 - is light and simple enough to thrive in slippery conditions.