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Off on a long summer road trip? Being organised and taking a few simple preparations beforehand can lead to a more enjoyable and stress-free summer road trip.

HIC suggest the following checks to ensure you have a stress-free summer road trip, whether in this country or abroad.

Tips for a stress-free summer road trip.
  • Check your documents before setting out on your summer road trip: Make sure your insurance, MOT, road tax and any servicing are up-to-date. It’s a good idea to take your driving license (both parts if you have a photocard license) with you on a long journey.
  • Get breakdown cover:  HIC offers inexpensive emergency breakdown cover to customers, with the added option for European cover if travelling abroad. HIC Rescue Breakdown Cover operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • Check the tyres: The pressure and tread depth both need to be checked. Don’t forget to check the spare and ensure you have a jack and a basic tool kit in case of emergency.
  • Check the engine: Check the oil and water levels and top up if necessary.
  • Check the lights: Make sure they are clean and in good working order. Keeping spare bulbs in the boot is a good idea (this may be a legal requirement in some countries). If travelling abroad headlights may also need to be adjusted to meet that particular country’s regulations.
  • Check the windscreen for any cracks or chips and ensure wiper blades are clean and the water reservoir is topped up.
  • If travelling abroad, check the legal requirements of each country you will travel through and to. In some countries it is compulsory to carry emergency kit or have headlights adjusted a certain way.
  • Bad smells of rotting food or dirty football kits can lead to an uncomfortable and unpleasant journey, so best to give the car a quick clean inside and out.
  • Load the car so luggage is evenly distributed and doesn’t fly forward if you have to break suddenly. Keep the spare tyre accessible – so try to avoid loading heavy suitcases directly on top of it.
  • Plan your journey: Take into account how long your journey should take but don;t rush and leave ample time to allow for hold-ups. Be prepared for any unexpected delays and allow time for comfort breaks and rest stops. If you have children it’s a good idea to travel through the night so they don’t get bored and they can perhaps fall asleep.
  • Make sure you have enough fuel or know where there are petrol stations on route.
  • It’s also a good idea to keep some emergency equipment in the car, such as a first aid box, up-to-date map (in case the satnav lets you down), mobile phone, torch, food and drink, water and a blanket.

If all the necessary checks have been made, all that is left to do is put on your favourite tunes for your summer road trip and enjoy the drive. Bon voyage.