The summer holidays are finally here, which means families are flocking to the beach or to other picturesque destinations for a much deserved break. Many people choose to book a staycation in the UK, either heading to the coast or driving to an idyllic countryside camping spot. If you’re planning a getaway with the family in the car, then it’s important to be prepared for all eventualities.

Whether you have a short one hour drive or a long journey across the border to another part of the UK, accidents happen. It’s critical to ensure that the vehicle is as safe as possible before setting off on your holiday, but also take steps to make the journey as comfortable as can be.

Here’s some top tips for preparing your car for long journeys this holiday season.

Don’t over-pack

Firstly, don’t think because you don’t have an airline-style luggage limit that you should take as much as you can cram into your car. It’s tempting to stock up on food and drink in addition to clothing and camping or activities gear, but overloading the vehicle could put you in danger. Handling is affected by the weight in the car, and overloading a small engine car can increase stopping distance and impact acceleration. You should also never block the rear view by piling up items in the boot.

Vehicle checks

As with any long journey, it’s important to carry out some basic vehicle checks before setting off to ensure the safety of the car. Check the tread and air pressure of the tyres – it’s usually a good idea to stop at a garage and pump up the tyres when you fill up the tank. Other things to check include the screen wash, oil and water levels and all of the lights are in working order.

Emergency kit

You should prepare for the worst case scenario – what will you do if you break down or are involved in a road accident? You should carry safety equipment for you and your family, including a torch and high vis jackets in case you need to wait by the side of the road. A first aid kit is also a good idea, along with blankets and bottled water.

Stay safe this summer getting to and from your chosen holiday location.

Preparing your Car for Long Holiday Journeys