Top Tips For Safe Summer Driving

According to an RAC study into roadside breakdowns, 30% could be avoided by owners having a better understanding of how their vehicle works. With the holiday season in full swing, motorists should be paying full attention to basic vehicle maintenance.

In the UK, approximately two million people head overseas for a summer holiday and while many of us will fly, a large number will be packing up the car in pursuit of a driving holiday either in the UK or elsewhere in Europe.

Keeping your car in tip-top condition is essential all year round, but while most of us acknowledge winter hazards, it's important to ensure that the summer sun doesn't bring a false sense of security.

Overheated engines, under-inflated tyres and broken air-conditioning can herald a holiday from hell. Automotive consumer champion, Motor Codes, advises motorists on summertime motoring through its nationwide network of over 6,200 reputable garages that can health check vehicles before holidays begins.

"Hot weather, heavy loads and long trips can place a significant strain on our vehicles, but the good news is that there are a number of small measures that we can take to ensure a happy holiday," said Chris Mason, Motor Codes director. "Good advance planning and a pre-holiday health check at a reputable garage can help to make holidays the relaxing, fun time they should be."

Top Five Tips For Summer Driving
  • Check oil and coolant levels; as low levels may cause overheating, excessive engine wear or even engine seizure.
  • Check the pressure of your tyres and examine them for any signs of wear or tear (for example, cuts and low treads).Ensure they are sufficiently inflated and check that they are legally compliant with the country that you are travelling to.
  • Ensure your vehicle gets a pre-holiday 'health check' at one of the nationwide Code approved garages.
  • Make sure that your insurance policy covers you to travel abroad and remember to take all your insurance documentation, driving licence and passport with you!
  • Read up on the road rules of whichever country you will travel through and ensure you have at least the minimum legal requirements for driving. Make sure you carry an 'essential kit' in your car, for example, in most of Europe it is essential to carry a reflective jacket. In Germany, it is illegal to run out of petrol on the motorway, while in Spain a spare headlight bulb is a must. Driving anywhere in Europe without a GB sticker (or a European registration plate) is illegal.
11 August 2010 Staff

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