As the UK finally begins to emerge from lockdown, travel restrictions are being eased. With restrictions still in place for travel out with the UK this means one thing – ROAD TRIPS!
Us Brits love a good road trip. With so many great UK destinations to visit and some fantastic roads to enjoy it’s not hard to see why. However, before setting off on your road trip, it’s important to make sure your vehicle is in top condition. Not only to avoid breakdowns putting an end to your plans but to ensure you are travelling safely and not at risk of causing an accident.
Many of us have been driving far less, or perhaps not at all since lockdown measures were introduced in Spring 2020, which means our cars may have been left neglected. By not using a car regularly or by leaving it sat in one place for a long time, some parts may deteriorate or we may fail to notice any issues.
Here are a few quick checks you can do to make sure your vehicle is ready to hit the road & set off on your travels.
MOT and Road Tax
This might seem obvious, but the last year has flown by for many of us and with MOT’s being extended and many cars being registered as SORN while off the road it can be easily missed. You can check if your car has a valid MOT and Road Tax using the government’s Vehicle Enquiry System.
If your vehicle does need an MOT, be sure to take a look at our MOT Test Guide to help get your car MOT ready.
Check The Fluids
If you’ve not been using your car regularly it’s a good idea to ensure all fluids are at the correct levels before heading off on a lengthy journey. Be sure to check your oil level, coolant level, screen wash and brake fluid.
If you’re unsure where to find these, take a look at your vehicle handbook or take your car to a garage – many garages offer these checks as a free of charge service.
Be sure to ensure your windscreen is clean and free from any chips or cracks. While you’re here it’s worth checking your window wipers as well. Over winter the wipers can degrade and become brittle, so Spring is the perfect time to check them.
Another simple test that can be easily overlooked. Ensure all your lights including fog lights and hazard warning lights are functioning as normal. Be sure to check registration plate lights and brake lights also – you may need assistance to ensure all the brake lights are operating as they should.
After not moving for a while, tyres can lose pressure and can begin to degrade. It is vital to ensure the health of your tyres before making any journey. Take time to look at the overall condition of each tyre, keeping an eye out for cracks or bulges as well as the tread depth across the width of all tyres. Also ensure all your tyres are at the correct pressure – you can find this information in your vehicles handbook or usually on a sticker inside one of the door frames.
For more information on what to look for when checking your tyres, read our Checking Tyre Health article for some tips.
Enjoy your road trips and remember to stay safe. Check out our list of the UK’s Best Driving Roads for some road trip ideas – and be sure to tag us in your social media posts on your trip!