Preparing for a long car journey

It’s half term across the UK this week and I’m incredibly jealous as we don’t get a week off at my university (although we do get four weeks off at Christmas) so, as you can imagine there will be a lot of people going on road trips this week. Whether it’s to visit family or to just get a few days away from home, a road trip is always fun but there are a few things that you need to make sure you do before you get in the car and set off on your journey.

The most important thing is to check that your car is in a good enough condition to embark on a long journey, this is for your safety and also the safety of others on the road. Things that you need to check are:

  • When your car last had its MOT – obviously it’s illegal to drive a car that hasn’t passed its MOT, so it’s really important that you get this done once a year without fail. If it’s coming up to that time and you’re going to be away when your MOT runs out, you should definitely get it done before you leave. You can get an MOT test done from just £25 at www.kwik-fit.com and there are over 500 MOT test centres in the UK.
  • The oil – this is something everyone is taught when they are learning their drive. It’s so important that you know how to check your oil and luckily it’s really easy. All you need to do, is lift the bonnet of the car, locate the dipstick, give it a wipe and replace it before removing it again to see how much oil you actually have in there.
  • The brakes – you need to make sure that the brake pads aren’t worn down and are at a safe level, if you don’t know how to do this yourself then you can pop into your local Kwik-Fit garage.
  • The tyres – this is another thing that you are taught when you are learning to drive and is one of the questions on your theory test. You need to know how to check the tyre tread depth and you need to know that the safe legal minimum for tread depth is 1.6mm.

Now the more fun things for your journey:

  • A playlist – you don’t want to be stuck in the car for hours on end with only the radio, it’s best to make your own playlist with your favourite songs so that you can have a singalong and enjoy yourself along the way.
  • Travel games – if you’re travelling with kids, you’ll want to keep them quiet and entertained so taking along a couple of travel games is always a good idea. You can also get a game of ‘Eye Spy’ going or get them to count how many yellow cars they see on the road.
  • A good book – if you’re not driving, then a long car journey is the perfect time to catch up on your reading. I like to take my kindle so I have a number of different books at my fingertips.
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