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Lucy F, Bradford UK

Things to Consider Before Embarking on Long Trips

A long car trip can be more confident and comfortable – not to mention safer – if you take time to prepare the vehicle beyond loading baggage. Ensure your insurance, related paperwork and all licences are in order. Be sure to plan your route well. Time your travel through unfamiliar cities during non-peak times. Schedule breaks and meals, allowing the time outside your vehicle. Stepping out for a 15-minute stroll, stretching and relaxing occasionally will help keep you alert and drive more safely, all of which adds to the enjoyment of your trip and the confidence in your driving.

Auto Mobile Safety and Comfort

Before starting a trip, ensure the car is safe to operate, especially for a long road trip. Have your mechanic service the vehicle and tyres, reducing the risk of accidents, breakdowns or punctured rubber. Driving with bad tyres is a huge safety hazard. Tyre tread should be at least 1.6 mm deep, the legal minimum standard. The recommended depth is 3 mm, allowing for additional safety and better control. Ensure the tread is not worn unevenly from inner to outer rims and around the circumference. Check for embedded items and debris.Be sure to check your spare tyre as well. It should be as road-worthy as your mounted tyres, and air pressure in all five should be as recommended and uniform. Ensure you can extract the spare tyre and the jack and stand. Ensure all parts are in good working order. Check the vehicle’s fluid levels; some cars use more oil than petrol, it seems: Have extra available. Check your windscreen, windows, wipers, defrost and heater or AC unit. Check all lights, including all turn signals, reverse and brake lights and your tag light.You might feel more comfortable driving for long periods in a car that looks and smells clean. Take a few moments to dust and vacuum the interior. Clean windows and mirrors as well. A small dish of baking soda left open on a dash while the car is sitting for a few days is a cheap air freshener that works well. Check the position of the seats and mirrors for maximum comfort while driving. Ensure your lower back has sufficient support. Use an orthopaedic foam cushion if needed for maximum comfort.

Car Insurance for Travelling

Before travelling, ensure your car insurance protects you both en route and at your destination. This is the perfect time to consider breakdown insurance, even for the short term. Roadside repairs, towing and spare tyres are a few of the benefits. Add to that the basic security of accident protection. In an unfamiliar or well-familiar area, one-call access to these necessities is very reassuring.If you will be driving in Europe, ensure you have adequate cover: Most EU policy riders are for third-party cover only. Extend cover to meet potentially devastating financial liabilities there. Most comprehensive policies in the UK don’t offer the same damage or destroyed protection in the EU. You must obtain the additional cover for full protection in Europe. Things to consider before embarking on long trips include your passport, your driver’s licence, an itinerary and your insurance papers. Give your agent notice, and get a Green Card that asserts your proper insurance cover for the area: Carry it with you. Ensure you have your insurance certificate with you any time you are driving to supplement the Green Card. One or the other is needed, and both is better. Consult an insurance agent to ensure you have proper cover before you leave.Enjoy your trip!

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