Driving tips

We don’t want to state the obvious when it comes to looking after your car or van but we do want to help reduce the risk of you having an accident and improve your chances of trouble-free driving. Why not take some time and read our hints and tips below.  

Winter driving

It’s really important that your car or van is serviced regularly and that you keep it well looked after at all times, especially during the winter.

  • Battery - if you don’t do long journeys regularly, the battery may need charging. This is even more likely during the winter months as you will use your heater and lights more, putting extra strain on your battery
  • Coolant - check your engine coolant level regularly and make sure that it contains the right level of anti-freeze. This doesn’t cost much but if your engine freezes the cost for repairs could be high
  • Tyres - check the tyre pressure and tread regularly. You should also have a look at the condition of your tyres and replace them if necessary
  • Screenwash – make sure you have enough screenwash and that it is the right strength for cold weather
  • Wiper blades - check your wiper blades for damage and replace if they are showing signs of wear and tear
  • Exterior lights – check all your lights and if a bulb isn’t working make sure you get it replaced
  • Fuel - don't leave home without enough fuel for the journey, allowing for possible delays

Summer driving

It’s just as important to make sure your car or van is ready for the summer. Take a few minutes to read our hints and tips below:

  • Oil and coolant levels – make sure these are kept topped up to help stop your engine overheating
  • Cooling system – have this checked by a garage as one which isn’t working properly could cause your car or van to overheat and damage the engine
  • Electric cooling fan - this is designed to work only when it is needed. It’s still worth getting it checked out by your garage to make sure it’s working correctly
  • Convertible roof –if you haven’t used this for a while it’s worth checking to make sure it is working correctly
  • Screenwash – always make sure you have enough and top up if necessary
  • Wiper blades - check your wiper blades, and if they’re damaged replace them
  • Exterior lights – check to make sure they conform to legal requirements, particularly if you’re driving abroad
  • Tyres - look for damage and check the tread and pressure
  • Towing - if you are towing a caravan, check the tyre condition and make sure it is properly balanced

We have also drawn up a kit list of things we suggest you keep in your car or van at all times:

  • First aid kit
  • Warning triangle
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Additional engine oil and water (for topping up)
  • Light bulb kit
  • Road map or sat-nav
  • In-car mobile phone charger
  • Jump start cables
  • Some food
  • Reflective warning sign

Extra items especially important during the winter months

  • Ice scraper and de-icer
  • Torch and spare batteries
  • Warm clothes and blankets
  • Shovel