If you plan on taking the open road this summer on your own European getaway, you probably can’t wait to get behind the wheel. However, before you set off, it’s worth making sure you and your car are fully prepared for the adventure ahead. In this blog, we take a look at three things you should do before you leave…
- Check your car
It’s important to make sure that your car is in tiptop working order. Some of the checks you should carry out include:
Inspect your car battery
The last thing you’ll want to deal with during your road trip is a flat battery. So, to avoid being caught out in an unfamiliar country, it pays to inspect your battery before you leave. You should be able to find instructions on how to do this in your car manual, but unless you have extensive vehicle knowledge, this can be tricky. Instead, you could arrange for a professional such as Kwik Fit to do this for you.
Assess your tyres
It’s crucial that your tyres are safe and roadworthy – especially if you’re about to embark on a road trip – so it’s worth assessing them before you leave. For example, you should check the tread depth of each one, making sure all four tyres comply with the legal requirement. The legal minimum tyre tread in the UK and across Europe is 1.6mm, so if one or more of your wheels is below this, you’ll need to get replacements. You should also measure the pressure of each tyre, as well as check for cracks and bulges in the sidewall.
Check the engine oil levels
Your engine keeps your car running, so it’s important that your oil levels are just right. Checking these levels is quick and easy. While your engine is switched off and cool, open the bonnet and look for the dipstick. Pull it out and use a cloth to wipe away the excess oil. Next, push it back into its tube and pull it out again. Look at the dipstick to see where the oil has stuck to. It should have markings on it, helping you to determine if your oil levels are low. If they are, you’ll need to top up.
- Plan your route
Especially if you’re heading to somewhere you’ve not been before, you’ll need to plan your route. Being clear of exactly where you’re going, how you’re going to get there and how long it will take should help you reach your destination with ease. Ahead of your journey, look at a map and pinpoint your planned route. This will help you visualise where you’re going and what stops you can make along the way.
- Do your research
While you might be familiar with the roads in the UK, you may not be as confident when driving in a different country. It’s important that you feel safe and comfortable while you’re behind the wheel, so it helps know what to expect. With this in mind, you might find it useful to do some research and read up on the main driving rules of where you’re going.
For instance, you might want to get to grips with the rules around overtaking, as well as familiarising yourself with some of the most common road signs. You should also read up about giving way to other motorists to avoid any potential disputes with the locals.
For more planning tips and inspiration, check out Kwik Fit’s Europe’s Road Trips: Scenic Edition eBook.
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