(Picture © Foxy Lady Drivers Club)
Few drivers leave the house expecting their trip to be interrupted by a conked out car. A breakdown normally comes out of the blue and in the middle of a journey, often leaving people stranded at the roadside – a potentially hazardous environment.
So ahead of the summer holiday rush to the road (this year more Brits are expected to opt for a staycation, thanks to the good weather) it’s important that drivers know what to do in the event of a car breaking down and how to take care of themselves and any passengers. Here are my tips for ensuring everyone stays safe until professional assistance arrives.
Make sure your hire car is big enough for your holiday luggage (Picture © Europcar)
Every year millions of Britons hire cars abroad to give them the freedom of the open road. Yet for many the hire car experience ends up causing stress and expense long after their tans have faded. The Post Office Car Rental Report discovered that 56 per cent of people who hire cars don’t cover themselves for tyre or glass damage and 76 per cent don’t take out cover against high excess charges. Failing to take both these simple measures can leave holiday makers out of pocket. Follow our car hire tips to ensure that your holiday isn’t memorable for all the wrong reasons. Continue reading
Keep the kids entertained with in-car games (Picture © Peugeot)
As any parent knows, road trips with the family during the school holidays rarely lend themselves to a restful time. Research is required if weary families are to find ways to keep kids in cars occupied for hours at a time when they’d rather be running around burning off energy.
Fortunately, we’ve done the leg work for you. Here is a selection of the best in-car games and accessories that will help keep journeys as peaceful and harmonious as possible. Continue reading
Top up your fluids before hitting the road (Picture © Prestone)
The weather drives the breakdown business and the heat of summer provides its own very special challenges for cars and technicians alike. Continue reading
Low oil pressure is a common cause of breakdowns (Picture © Mobil 1)
The nature of breakdowns changes between winter and summer. In the winter we’re called out to faults that tend to be relatively easy to find and fix. In the summer, faults are more serious because the heat tends to place more stress on critical components.
Here are five of the typical faults we see in hot weather. Continue reading
Nearly half of towing related crashes happen in summer (Picture © TyreSafe)
Thousands of the drivers who tow caravans and trailers will end up being stranded by the roadside this summer. According to figures from the Highways England, there were nearly 5000 towing-related incidents in 2013 with almost half happening between July and September.
The primary causes of accidents and breakdowns include overloading the caravan or trailer, a mismatch with the towing vehicle, burst tyres and poor towing technique. Highways England spokesman Andy Withington said: “We encourage anyone towing during the holiday season to prepare before they set out and take a few simple steps once they are on the road to avoid becoming involved in an incident.”
Highways England’s advice is to: Continue reading
Basic errors can mean an abandoned holiday. (Picture © TyreSafe)
It’s frequently the simplest things that catch people out. Sam Jackson explains how many of the drivers Green Flag helps to get on the road again could have avoided the problem or minimised the impact if they hadn’t made the simplest of errors. Here are some of the most common mistakes drivers make when travelling abroad. Continue reading
Driving abroad involves much more than simply coping with being on the wrong side of the road; there are some standard laws that must be obeyed, regardless of your destination. For example: you must have your driving licence, insurance and vehicle registration documents wherever you travel. And cars must be equipped with GB stickers and headlight beam converters.
It’s also a good idea to carry your passport. You will need identification if the police stop you. But although we’re supposedly one happy European family, other laws and rules differ from country to country. Whether it’s equipment you need to pack or regulations you must obey, it’s a minefield of legislation out there. Follow this quick and easy country-by-country guide so you don’t get caught out. Continue reading
Basic checks to help make for a happy holiday (Picture © Europcar)
Assuming you’ve prepared properly for driving abroad you’ll have all the kit and paperwork you need for your car. Green Flag’s Sam Jackson runs through the things to remember when you land on Continental soil.
Before you land
Driving slowly and steadily is the key to not getting stuck in mud (© Volvo)
Rain and festivals go together like Dolly Parton and a guitar. Whatever the weather this year, rain means festival sites become mud baths with quagmires for car parks. Follow the Green Flag guide on how not to get stuck in a rut.
Inspect under the bonnet before going on holiday (© Comma)
Driving to your holiday destination is a brilliant way of seeing places and meeting people that you wouldn’t ordinarily come into contact with. But taking your car abroad can lay you open to trouble if you’re not fully prepared. Here Green Flag’s Sam Jackson gives seven tips for a trouble free motoring holiday. Continue reading