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Preparing your car (and yourself) for a long journey

Staying in the UK this year and dreading that long car journey? Do not worry, we have some helpful tips to make the road ahead as smooth as possible.  Don’t forget, it's not just the passengers that need looking after before and after your trip, your car does too!

man checking oil level on car

Car Preparation

  1. Tyres: Check the tyre pressures as per your vehicle manual and the tread.
  2. Coolant: This is essential for both hot and cold days.  Being stuck in traffic for hours can cause your car to overheat, equally in the winter, it stops the water from freezing.
  3. Screenwash: Make sure the levels are topped up before your journey. This ensures your windscreen is always clear, meaning a safer journey.
  4. Oil: Make sure your oil level is between the minimum and maximum marker on your dipstick.
  5. Satnav and charger: Don’t forget to fully charge your sat nav and have the charger to hand if needed.
  6. Map: There is nothing worse than knowing you are heading the wrong way, but not sure how to get back on track. For those without a satnav or planning to travel off the beaten track, make sure you have an up-to-date map with you.

Packing Essentials

  1. Official Documents: Remember to take your driving licence, your insurance details, and the details of any breakdown services you may have, just in case.
  2. First-aid kits: A handy bonus to any journey, bumps and scratches always happen when you least expect them to.
  3. Torch: Many of us forget to pack a torch, and some may say why bother, my phone has a torch?  Phone batteries can fail, and you may need to look under the bonnet in the middle of the night.  It is always handy to carry one and they are much easier to hold than your phone.  
  4. Loose change: This is always handy to have on you too,  you may have an unexpected toll charge to pay or car parking.  Even if it’s a few pounds in loose change, at least you know it’s there if you need it.
  5. Tissues, hand gel and wet wipes are a must. How many times have you found yourself with sticky hands that need cleaning and nothing to use!  Always remember any prescription medicines you need whilst away as well.
  6. Change of clothes: Many of us choose to travel overnight to help with beating the traffic.  Pack some warm clothes as the late night and early morning can be chilly, and not forgetting an umbrella!
  7. Refreshments: Take a water bottle with you for your journey, it is important to stay hydrated.  Fruit and snacks are also helpful, as well as sandwiches if you are not planning on stopping off at a service station.
  8. Family Activities: Keep the little ones entertained, books and activity packs are a great addition to the trip to help keep them occupied on long journeys.

family car journey

 Journey Tips

  1. Take breaks: If you’re not travelling alone, then why not share the driving with your partner.  This really helps with the safety and concentration of everyone, and it makes sure you get a chance for a quick nap between driving. (but make sure you are all insured to drive the vehicle before heading off).
  1. Check out dates and timings: Do a little research to see if you are travelling on a route with a planned event that may impact your journey or likewise try and avoid peak travelling times to avoid congestion.
  1. Fuel: Try to fill up prior to setting off, removing any worries of trying to refuel in unfamiliar surroundings.

Also, now that the UK has officially left the European Union, there are several changes and requirements you need to be aware of before travelling abroad, click here to find the latest information. 

Did you know….it is possible to insure your private vehicle’s insurance excess removing financial risk should the unexpected happen whilst on your road trip.  With a variety of different cover limits available, it is possible to choose a solution that meets your needs, find out more here.

Date Created: 16/06/2021

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