Going on a road trip? – Here’s a quick checklist!

Bank Holiday season is just around the corner and that means long weekends with road trips are back.  

Whether you’re looking forward to exploring the rugged landscape of the North Coast 500 in Scotland or you’re planning a more sedate trip around the Cotswolds, before heading out on your adventure, you should make sure your vehicle is in good working order.  

We’ve got the simple car checks you need to avoid a breakdown, as well as the packing essentials to avoid a meltdown!

Car checks 

Oil: Checking the oil level is a quick and easy task that you shouldn’t forget to do. The oil helps lubricate the moving parts and is essential in keeping your motor running.  

Tyres: Before setting off on any long journey you should check the tread level of your tyres. You can do this by placing a 20p in between the tread, if you can see the rim of the coin, the tread is too low and you need to replace the car tyres.  

Lights: Switch on your hazard lights to check your indicators are working and get a passenger to walk around the car whilst you press the brakes and flash the headlights. If you don’t have a passenger, when it gets dark, move your car so that you’re opposite a window. You can then check your lights by seeing your car’s reflection in the glass.  

Coolant: Helping to stop your engine from overheating, coolant is especially important if you’re planning a self-drive holiday to mainland Europe this summer. 

Screenwash: Visibility is essential when you’re driving on the open road, especially if you’re travelling in unfamiliar territory. Keep your screenwash topped up throughout your road trip by keeping a diluted bottle in your boot! 

Brakes: Last but definitely not least, check your brake pads to ensure they’re not worn out. Worn brake pads increase your stopping distance and increase your risk of skidding and losing control.  

Packing list 

Once you’ve given your car the going over, it’s time for the fun stuff!  

Documents: Make sure you’ve got all your documents stored in your glovebox. From your insurance to breakdown cover, driving licences to travel itinerary. Don’t forget, if you’re travelling to Europe you’ll need a Green Card too.  

First Aid Kit: You should pack and prepare for all eventualities and a first aid kit can help provide you with that peace of mind should something happen. 

Breakdown kit: Should you break down, having a kit of the bare essentials will help keep you safe on the side of the road. Your kit should include a warning triangle, enough high-vis vests for all the passengers, and a set of jump leads.  

Snacks: What’s a road trip without snacks?! Whether you’re a fan of preparing your own healthy treats, or you like to indulge and stop off at an M&S along the way, having snacks can help stave off the hunger pangs until your next break.  

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