You can feel it coming can't you? The air is thinner, the trees are bare and the wind is biting. The sun has disappeared before you've even started to switch off from work and all the Summer fun seems a million miles away.
You take a look at your daily driver and it doesn't look ready to tackle the depths of Winter, despite how eager it might be. You know, deep down, that spending the entirety of the cold and bleak months of the year in your saloon or hatchback are not going to be fun. When the snow hits, every day will be a struggle just to get off the driveway.
Don't worry though, I think I have the perfect solution for you and it shouldn't cost much at all.
My thought process is, that if you purchase a rugged 4x4 just for the Winter months and then flog it for a minor loss once Spring has arrived, you aren't going to be that out of pocket. More importantly, you can forget about all those Winter blues and just thrash a new toy around frolicking in the snow.
You'll notice that most of these options aren't going to be concours examples, but who cares? As long as they live for 3 months of hard work, they've done their job.
So, here are my top 5 cheap Winter thrills for less than £2,000.
1) Jeep Grand Cherokee - £2,000
What better way to blow away those Winter blues than with a 4.7-litre V8. Oh look, the Johnson family are struggling to get up the road in their new Skoda Octavia, what a shame. I'll just help them out in my V8 and take Daddy Johnson down a peg or two.
At £2,000, this example is the most expensive option on the list.
2) Toyota RAV4 - £750
It's everyone's favourite car to hate on, the Toyota RAV4. You'll have to ignore the haters whilst driving your lovely £750 RAV4 around, but it'll be worth it as they are actually great little cars. 4x4 ability for days and pretty reliable.
At this price it is surely worth your minor decline in society.
3) Volvo XC70 Cross Country - £800
Is there anything more reliable than a rugged Volvo estate? No, is the answer you're looking for. These tanks of the road will take everything you throw at them. Even the base V70 will last forever, but the Cross Country version is what the army use to break through enemy lines, whilst having the perfect air con temperature and playing their favourite Pink Floyd album.
For just £800 you can have a Winter tank that can be used pretty much forever. You may see that it says 'Gearbox slightly slipping' but you can ignore this. It just means you can't climb up Everest as quickly.
4) Suzuki Jimny - £1,200
Don't laugh. If you're looking for some cheap thrills over Winter and you don't really care about social standings, say hello to the Suzuki Jimny. Don't let the small package fool you, it is more than capable off-road.
They have quite the large cult following, so the resale value come March may have even increased. (Don't hold me to this.)
5) Subaru Forester - £650
The brand that spawned one of the most iconic rally cars of all time, the Impreza, also have some other gems that don't really get enough of a spotlight. The Subaru Forester is a solid car, maybe without the performance levels of the Impreza, but its off-road capabilities are solid.
You can pick these up for a ridiculous amount of money now and they will take all the punishment you have to offer over the Winter months.
Are there any 4x4s I have missed off the list? I'm aware that this is UK focussed, so any American suggestions are more than welcome! Let me know in the comments.