Holidays are here again
Easter is early this year, falling at the end of March and with Easter Sunday coinciding with April Fool’s Day. The winter weather may still linger a while but a young man’s fancy will turn to taking the car over to the continent before too long and Dad and Mum will dust down the touring caravan and get online to book the pitch on the campsite. What should you do to make sure you can drive safely and enjoy your holiday without an accident working to spoil the fun?
The wheels on the ‘van go round and round
We hope. Make sure your tyres are in good condition. If the car will carry a heavier load than usual, for example, the full quota of passengers and luggage, you’ll need to increase your tyre pressures. Check the handbook for the numbers. Make sure the spare wheel is in good nick, too. You may well be glad of it if you break down on a scenic but isolated mountain route in the middle of nowhere. If towing, you need to check out the tow bar on the car and also the tyres on the caravan. It’s so easy to overlook this and it’s another potential accident working against you.
Maintenance is king
It’s the same old, same old… All the usual service checks apply, especially if you are going abroad. If your car needs a service, get it done before you go.
What shall I pack?
The savvy continental driver’s kit includes
Two reflective breakdown warning triangles
A first aid kit
A usable spare tyre
A tool kit with a jack in it
A windscreen scraper (some of those mountain routes stay icy all year round)
Don’t let an accident work against you
Highway Codes vary from country to country. Get onto the Highway Code page on gov.uk and research what you need. Breakdown warning triangles are obligatory in all EU countries, and in some you need two. It’s obvious that you need to ensure you have insurance cover before you go, but you also need to check your UK Tax Disc is up to date, because in some cases it can invalidate your insurance. If you plan to have more than one driver, make sure they are included on the policy. To be fully covered, you must have all the boxes ticked before you depart.
Date Published: March 12, 2013
Author: David Brown