Going on a drive this Bank Holiday? Check your car
Published 25 March 2016
Make sure your car is in top-top condition before a long drive.
The four-day weekend that many of us get for Easter (25/03 – 28/03) is a great opportunity to spend some quality time with your friends and family, especially if you plan to get out on a day trip together. However, if you’ll be taking your family for a drive out somewhere, it’s a good idea to make sure your car’s in good working order.
Spending a few hours of your Bank Holiday weekend stuck on the hard shoulder until you can get picked up is probably not what you’d want, so here’s how you can make sure your drive goes smoothly.
What to look out for
Whether you’re just driving 20 miles to the nearest beach or you’re going a bit further afield, it’s always a good idea to give your car a thorough check if you’re taking it on a longer journey than usual. If you’ve got an older vehicle, this is especially important as if you’ve not taken it on a long drive in a while, the strain of the journey could see you breaking down.
Check the oil and water levels of your car, as well as the pressure of all of your tyres. If you don’t know how to do this, the manual for your car’s model should have clear instructions or just do a quick search online if you need any more tips. You should also that the spare tyre is on board and in working order and that all of your lights are working. It might be a good idea to get someone to help you with this – turn on the indicators and apply the brakes and they’ll be able to tell you if your lights come on as they should do.
You should also make sure you fill up your car at your local garage before you set off. If you only realise you’re running on empty when you get on the motorway, you’ll have to fill up at a service station and this is rarely the cheapest option for fuel.
Are you covered?
No matter how many checks you make, your car could still break down halfway through your drive anyway. If your vehicle decides to give up the ghost and leave you stranded on the motorway, you want to make sure you can get moving again as soon as possible. That’s why it might be a good idea to get breakdown cover or see if it’s included in your existing motor insurance policy.
Some breakdown policies will offer you a courtesy car if your vehicle breaks down so if this is included in your policy, it would mean you’d be able to continue on your day trip. It’s also a good idea to save the contact number for your breakdown insurer in your phone – that way, if you do break down while you’re on your journey, you’ll be able to contact them to pick you up straight away.