Once again, the British Summer has presented itself, admittedly, in varying forms across the country, but nonetheless, the endless nights of pink skies and early mornings are ours to take for the next two months.
For all car enthusiasts across the country, this is the opportune time to spend your hours working away in the garage on a Sunday, or taking some much deserved time off to drive on some of the best roads our island has to offer. But, before you roar off into the sunset with nothing but winding roads ahead; be sure to carry out all the necessary checks and preparation steps beforehand…we don’t want a break down mid-way! Whether you are taking on the open road by yourself, with friends or with family, these following steps will ensure for smooth sailing.
As every driver should know, a broken number plate is an illegal number plate. Of course, there are varied versions as to what constitutes a ‘broken’ number plate, so before you head off, be sure to check that your number plates look sparkling new to avoid any hindrances on the road. Cracks, dents, snapped, parts missing, unclear numbers; these are all things that could potentially get you stopped on the road and be hit with a rather large fine. Save yourself from future trouble and head to Number 1 plates ‘plate builder’ to order yourself some brand new, legal replacement number plates to ensure peace of mind.
The most important element of your car (if you want to get anywhere!) Give yourself a few days beforehand to check the condition of your tyres, giving yourself time to replace them if necessary. Of course, if you are a regular driver, you should be checking your tyres every few weeks, but, before embarking on a longer journey, they should always be your first point of call. Check for cuts, bulges and each tyre’s tread depth; the more tread you have the better equipped your car will be to perform emergency stops in testing weather (which, if you’re staying in the UK, is a likely probability!). Remember, always check the pressure on all of your tyres and if you have any doubts at all about the condition of your tyres, then take them to your local garage to have them professionally inspected.
With the variable weather that the UK presents us over the Summer, it’s far better to be safe rather than sorry, and ensure that your windscreen wipers are fully operational… as they should be (it’s a legal requirement). Check your washer fluid levels as well as your washer jets and be sure to replace the wipers themselves if they are split or leave a smeared effect across your windscreen.
Now, if you are planning to head for warmer climates in our favourite European destinations (Spain and France), then be sure your car is prepared for European cruising. French law requires you to always carry the following items at all times; a warning triangle, breathalysers and reflective jackets. Spanish law also requires you to travel with a spare wheel. Other than the above, be sure to take your ‘GB’ car stickers, alongside a valid DVLA Check code, your insurance documentation and passport to prevent any major disruptions to your trip.
Above all else, be sure to have fun and enjoy your break, whether it be with friends or family. Why not head up to Scotland to take in the magnificence of the scenery along the North Coast 500 route? We know where we will be!