Avoid overloading your car!
Apart from having to cope with poor handling and braking performance, you could also invalidate your insurance, and even incur a fine, if the car is overloaded. To avoid last minute arguments over who can take what, make sure your family or friends are involved before you start loading. Each person should prioritise what they want to take.
Remember to allow for the extra weight
Your car will handle and perform very differently when fully-laden. Don’t forget to allow for bigger braking distances, particularly while cruising at speed on a motorway. And remember acceleration will be slower when overtaking traffic.
Consider fitting a roof box for those extra items
Roof boxes are a safe and efficient way of carrying extra luggage on a roof rack. Apart from providing more secure stowage without any need to tie items down, an aerodynamically-shaped roof box is less harmful to fuel consumption. And it’s a great place to put those sandy or wet items from a day at the beach.
Protect your paintwork!
If you have been driving in dusty conditions or have been parked near a beach, rinse the car off thoroughly with a hose before wiping it down with a sponge or brush. Sand, dirt or dried salt from sea-spray, can easily scratch paintwork, apart from damaging carpets or gumming up mechanical parts.Published 17 July 2004