After spending months at home due to the pandemic, people have now slowly started venturing out. While the virus is still at large, with the right precautions, it is safe enough to travel now. While public transport may not yet be your best bet, you can use your car for getting to your holiday destination. But for that, ensure that you prepare your vehicle well for a great holiday!
Before going on your road trip in your car, make sure to follow this checklist for a smooth ride:
- Check your documents:
Always keep a folder in your car that holds all the important and necessary documents. These include your driving license, registration certificate (RC), pollution under control (PUC), car insurance policy, etc. If you have purchased online insurance for your car, then you can simply keep a soft copy on your phone. And if needed, renew your car insurance well before the trip so that you have a stress-free journey!
Also, be sure to keep enough cash and your payment card for the toll booths if you have plans to cruise multiple locations.
- Car servicing:
Get your car serviced at least a week before you leave, even if it does not match with your servicing schedule. You could avoid changing the filter if your car has not travelled more than its recommended limit. However, the car service should check and fix wheel alignment, suspension, brakes, steering, batteries, fan belts, wipers and the coolant.
You could also check the following yourself and then take your car to the mechanic for a complete check if needed:
- Headlights: Faulty headlights can be problematic if you’re driving late in the evening and on the highway. Ensure they are working properly so that you do not end up hurting someone on the road or damaging their car and in the process, ruin your trip!
- Horn check: While incessant honking is annoying, the car horn is quite essential when you’re out on a busy road with steadily speeding vehicles. Be it for making way for other cars or asking for some space to move ahead, the horn is a mode of communication between you and the other drivers. Therefore, the horn has to be audible enough and in perfect working condition.
- Car components: Look for squeaky doors, bumpers, bonnets and smooth windows. Even if these things will not hamper your ride or affect your vehicle’s performance, they can cause quite a bit of distraction in your mind while driving. Checking out the different car components like the suspension will be important. These small checks will tell you what you need to work on and if your car can handle the different bumps on the road. If you know you are going to be on broken roads, getting a fuel tank guard under the car can be helpful.
- The tyres: A punctured tyre is bad enough while travelling to work in your car. To have that on your road trip during a holiday means wasting your fun time looking for a garage and having it repaired. A vehicle’s tyres wear out due to excessive braking and acceleration, so don’t be surprised if you do need to change the tyres before the trip.
Check the tyres at least a couple of weeks before you go on the trip. That way, if they need to be changed, you will have time to visit the car service.
You may feel that going on the trip with old tyres will make sense as the long trip may cause enough wear and tear to them. But on the flip side, you could be left stranded in some lonely place with no help or mechanic for miles. But there is always a solution for such mishaps and your car insurance plays an important role here.
- Emergency assistance:
Including the roadside assistance add-on to your car insurance before you take your car on a trip can be useful. If you do not have it, then contact your insurance provider well in advance to include it to your policy. With this add-on, you can contact your insurer if your vehicle breaks down on the journey, and they will send a team to fix your car or tow it to the nearest mechanic.
- Polishing your toolkit:
Owning a car will always come with some responsibility. While prepping your car for the journey, play safe and carry a stepney or a spare wheel in your car. In most cases of tyres getting punctured, it is usually one wheel that turns out to be bad. And if you have to change the tyre on your own, you will need to have a jack, wheel spanner, screwdrivers and pliers handy in your toolkit.
- Sanitise your vehicle:
Lastly, don’t forget to carry a sanitising spray along. The entire journey may involve making small stops here and there. During these breaks, it is natural to touch surfaces like tables and counters which may be unclean. To ensure that these germs do not stay on your car seats or door handles, use the spray every time you get into your car after halting for a meal or a cup of tea.
While making fun plans for the road trip and the holiday accommodation, keep the car’s health on top of the priority list. Along with all the general servicing and maintenance, do not forget to buy the right car insurance policy for your four-wheeler. By making the journey enjoyable and smooth in a robust, well-kept and well-insured car, you can be sure that the rest of the holiday will be a wonderful and memorable one!