If you have a car, you’ve got a great method of transport on your side. It’s something you can take out whenever you like, as well as pull over and take a nap in when the sleepiness means you can’t stay on the road any longer. Either way, there’s a lot of use you can get out of a car, and there’s usually no better way to test its versatility than going on a long haul journey.
Long haul trips are something everyone is going to have to undertake at some point in their lives. Whether you work out of your vehicle, are travelling on a sightseeing road trip for pleasure, or moving somewhere up country, there’s a lot of mileage your car is going to have to undertake. So to be sure your vehicle is ready for this hefty amount of time on its wheels, here are some tips on ensuring you get back and forth in one piece.
Is Your Insurance Intact?
This is a good first thing to check, as if your entire vehicle isn’t protected against any breakdowns or damage, you’re going to be in a lot of hot water whilst you’re off on your trip. So if you’re going on a long haul journey, even within your own country, you’re going to need to make sure that your insurance is going to cover you for the entire period.
If the policy you’re under is expiring on a date you’re going to be away, make sure you’ve set up a renewal payment. It might even be a good idea to postpone your trip to make sure everything has cleared before you set off, as driving without insurance is never a good idea. You can look for the cheapest car insurance available easily when you’ve got the website to do so! Get yourself properly prepared before you set off.
Then Check Your Tyres
Yes, there’s going to be plenty of garages you can stop off on the way to your destination but driving from the get go with an improper pressure in your tires is going to be extremely detrimental. And expensive; considering there’s a legal minimum tyre depth you can drive on, and you could be out of pocket by two and half grand at least if you’re caught without it. Not to mention how much more fuel you’re going to need! It’s always better to drive yourself down to a garage before you set off and use the air pump.
Look Over Your Lights
You can’t drive on any road if you’ve got any damaged light on your vehicle, and thus it’s the next most important place to check. Checking every exterior light point on your car one by one means you won’t miss anything, so switch on the engine and flick on the switches.
Does your indicator work? If it doesn’t you’re going to end up a road menace, and the person everyone else on the roundabout is going to road rage at (as well as crash into). What about your brake lights? Do they come on when you reverse? Get someone to stand at the back of your car and watch as you back up towards them.
Is the Car Too Heavy?
If you’ve packed a lot for your journey, you’re going to immediately be at a disadvantage. Having a completely full boot before you head off is not only going to weigh your car down, making it slower and harder to drive, but cost a lot more fuel to run. You don’t want to be stopping at a filling station every couple hours or so just to make sure you can keep going on the extra 50 miles.
So pack lightly, and try to distribute any weight equally. Similarly, make sure you’ve cleared out anything you don’t actually need, like spare shopping bags or boxes; basically anything you can’t see yourself using that’s still stuck in your boot. It works wonders for your suspension, and means you’re going to be able to make the journey in much better time as well. If it’s a work meeting you’re heading off to, you might just get the chance to grab a coffee beforehand this way.
Readying a car for a long haul journey will make the world of difference once you’re actually on the road, so make sure you prepare before you set off. It’ll make the ride a lot more comfortable on anyone in the vehicle, as well as on the car!