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Off on your travels this Christmas? - Here’s a useful check list for travel.

Check your car insurance

Make sure your cover is up to date. It’s a good idea to take copies of your policy details with you, stored somewhere safe in your car or luggage. If the worst should happen, you’ll have everything you need with you.


Check your tyres

Give your tyres a visual inspection, looking for lumps, cracks or grazes that may indicate a problem. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.6mm, which is roughly the size of the border on a 20p piece.  Remember to top up your tyre pressure, too. This helps you stay safe and improves fuel economy.

Check coolant and antifreeze levels

If you’re driving any distance, it’s vital your engine stays at the right temperature. Refer to your handbook to locate the coolant filler cap. Check the coolant level when the engine is cold. If it's below the maximum line, top it up with an off-the-shelf coolant – these usually incorporate antifreeze, which covers you for cold weather. Be careful not to overfill the reservoir; coolant expands as it heats

Check the oil

With the bonnet open, give your oil a check. Make sure the engine is cool before you pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean with a cloth. Pop the dipstick back into its sleeve, leave it a few seconds, then pull it out again. The oil level will display, with a minimum and maximum marker to help you see how much is there. If it looks on the low side, it’s time to top up.

Clean the windscreen and headlights, fill screen wash

Give your windscreen a decent clean with warm soapy water. While you’re at it, clear your headlights and number plates, and check all your lightbulbs are working. Remember, you are legally required to have functioning lights and a visible registration plate.

It’s also worth filling your screen wash. Look for a blue cap (though some models do use yellow) on top of an opaque tank beneath your bonnet. Pour in ready-mixed washer fluid until it starts to back up.

Pack the essentials

Make sure you have everything you need for the journey ahead. A basic first aid kit is a good idea, including hand sanitiser, painkillers, plasters, antiseptic wipes and antihistamine tablets.

Also remember to pack any medication you might need, plenty of water, and a stash of snacks.

Think about anything you need to make your journey smoother. Some people like to take cushions and blankets to improve comfort. Remember to pack any accessibility gadgets and a map of your route. 

All these checks are quick and easy to make.

Carry them out before your departure and you can feel confident that you've done everything you can to ensure a smooth journey.

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