Ready? Get Set, Go! Prepare Your Car For Long Journeys

The main reason people spend time learning to drive and save up to buy a car is so that they can benefit from the independence that owning a vehicle brings. You will be able to go wherever you want whenever you want once you get your very own set of four wheels. So, why not take real advantage of this and head off on a fun road trip? Who knows where you will end up!

The spontaneity of these long car trips can be the very thing that makes them fun. However, they should never be too spontaneous that you have no time to prepare for them. On the face of it, nothing much should go wrong during your long car ride, but it’s still a good idea to be prepared for a few worst-case scenarios. After all, it’s always better to be safe than sorry! So, before you load your luggage into your car, here are a few other preparations that you need to make before any long journeys.

Tell Others Where You Are Going

One of the first things that you should do is tell others where you are going. It’s best to tell your family and close friends so that they are aware of your journey plans. As well as letting them know the destination, you should also give them an idea of your schedule, such as when you plan on arriving and if you are making any stop-offs along the way. If they don’t hear you over a period of time, then they will know any hotels, friends, or other places that they can contact to try and get in touch with you.

Consult A Map

Sure, getting around is easy these days now that you just have to program your destination’s address into your sat nav device. The device will then tell you directions along the route, so you know exactly where you need to go. However, it’s still a good idea to take a look at a map before you set off. This can be a good old paper one, or you could simply track out your route on Google Maps. This gives you the chance to get familiar with the route you need to take before you set off. That way, you won’t be too surprised by anything that the sat nav might shout at you!

Double Check All Fluid Levels

There are a few checks that you will need to carry out on your car before you set off as well. One of those is checking the various fluid levels to make sure that the vehicle will be able to run well during your journey. You might need to change your oil if the level is looking quite low or your current oil has been in there for a long time. You should also make sure that you have plenty of coolant, anti-freeze, and brake fluid in the tank.

Take A Look At The Tires

Don’t forget to take a look at your tires either. If you’ve had your car for a while and haven’t changed the tires during that time, then you should check them before you leave. If the tread looks quite thin, you should change them before you drive the car again as driving on tires with thin thread can be very dangerous indeed. Braking will not be as prompt, and you could find that the car is more prone to skidding along the road. If you don’t know how to change your tires, your local mechanic will be able to take care of it for you.

Flash The Lights

It’s also necessary to make sure that your lights are working. If you are driving along without certain lights on the car, not only are you putting yourself and other road users in danger, but it could also be a criminal offence. So, do a quick check that the lights on your car are working normally and are bright enough to be seen no matter how dark it may be when you are out on the road.

Pack Some Emergency Supplies

Have you got a bag full of emergency supplies in your car already? If not, then you need to get one sorted to take with you now. As I’ve previously mentioned, you never quite know what is going to happen when you are out on a long journey, so it’s always best to be prepared for any eventuality. You will need some supplies in case you get stranded in your car because of a breakdown or bad weather. So, extra clothes, non-perishable snacks and bottled water will be very useful. It’s also advisable to pack a flashlight, snow shovel, and batteries and a spare phone. Make sure you have anything that you might need should you ever need to spend the night in your car!

Check Insurance And Breakdown Cover

When was the last time you reviewed your car insurance or breakdown cover? If it hasn’t been for a while, it’s a good idea to dig out your paperwork and make sure that it is all up to date and valid. One thing to make sure is that your breakdown policy will still cover you even if you are going on a very long trip. Some covers are only valid within certain regions, so you may need to find one that covers a larger area if your current one is quite restrictive.

Pack Important Paperwork

You should pack the paperwork that relates to your car insurance and breakdown cover, but there are a few other important items of paperwork that you will need with you as well. For instance, it’s important that you take your complete driving license, including the paper form. If you are crossing into another country, you will also need your passport and any necessary visas.

There’s a lot that you need to prepare before you head out on a long car journey, but it will all make you a lot safer when out on the road!

1 comment

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