Road trips are always very exciting; you, the open road, and your friends or companion have the whole weekend in front of you with nothing to lose.
What many people going on a road trip seem to forget, is that how you travel on your day-to-day commute is different to a 400-mile round trip. When organising the perfect road trip there are things that you should know, and if you make sure you stick to these golden rules, your trip on the open road is going to be the best and safest you’ve ever had. Together with Trade Centre UK and Trade Centre Wales, who specialise in all things cars and used car finance deals, we provide you with your essential, need-to-know checklist.
We know that you know more about your car than we do, but sometimes because you drive your car so often, it can be the most overlooked part of your road trip. Your car needs to be in tip-top shape for the road, so make sure you’ve covered this checklist before you head off, so that you keep you and your passengers safe.
- This may seem like the most obvious thing to check before you set off, as you’ll probably fill up before you go, but too often motorists are left stranded on the side of the motorway because they thought their fuel level could take them that extra mile. Over compensate, as you’ll always be able to use what you haven’t on the trip when you get home.
- Tyre pressure. This is something that’s rarely checked before any road trip, and this is probably because it’s not the most exciting aspect of driving away into the horizon. Check the size of the tyre before you drive, as your ideal tyre pressure is dependent upon the tyres size, as shown below:
|Tire Size||Front Tyres||Rear Tyres|
|165/70R14 T 81||2.3 BAR / 34 PSI||2.1 BAR / 31 PSI|
|175/65R14 H 82||2.3 BAR / 34 PSI||2.1 BAR / 31 PSI|
|185/60R14 H 86||2.1 BAR / 31 PSI||2.1 BAR / 31 PSI|
|195/50R15 H 82||2.3 BAR / 34 PSI||2.1 BAR / 31 PSI|
- Water and washer fluid level. Now that you’ve checked the tyre pressure, you’ll need to establish whether you have enough water and washer fluid to keep your front and back windscreens clean. Even in dry conditions, your car’s windscreens can become filthy, especially in the summer when bugs cover the front windscreen. If you don’t have enough water, then visibility and driving conditions can become difficult – spoiling the fun you’ll be having singing along to your specially-curated road trip playlist.
- Oil level. This is commonly overlooked by most drivers, because they usually don’t know how to check the oil level; many drivers often find that they’re travelling down the motorway and the oil light comes on, and usually there is nothing worse because cars don’t tend to come with spare oil in the boot. To check, simply open the bonnet and then lift the oil lid. You’ll find a long stick in there, pull it out and check the oil is reaching the correct level for the engine. If it isn’t, check what oil your car requires and fill it up.
The Other Essentials
As well as checking your car, there’s other things to consider to make sure that you’re going to go on the perfect road trip.
A picnic is always a great suggestion if you’re going on extra-long journeys; there’s always somewhere you can stop off during long summer days when you’re in no hurry to get to your destination. The three main things that you should have are: a picnic blanket, a knife and corkscrew combo, and a small cooler bag. Your picnic will add a personal touch for your loved one or your friends, and it’ll keep costs down for everyone while on the journey, and let’s face it, it’s better than stopping off at a service station for a burger.
Remember, if anything should go wrong and you break down, ensure that your mobile phone is charged and you have warm clothing for standing beside the car on the hard shoulder. We would recommend that you have some high vests to wear in the eventuality of a breakdown; this way, you’ll always by seen at a safe distance from other road users. More than anything, we hope you have fun!