If you are one of the many people expected to leave the UK for the Easter break in search of sun and family fun then take the stress out of the journey by being fully prepared writes Geraldine Herbert
Always notify your insurance company when are taking your car abroad, although you should be covered automatically for third-party liability, it may be a condition of your policy that you inform your insurer before you travel.
If you are in any doubt about the condition of your car get it serviced. Pay attention in particular to wiper blades, signals, indicators, brake lights and the condition of your tyres. Also check oil and water levels.
Pack an emergency First Aid kit in your car. Include visibility vests, replacement bulbs and a warning triangle in case of breakdown. Many countries on the continent require you to carry this type of equipment so check the regulations before you travel and make sure you have the right kit.
Remember to drive on the opposite side of the road, this may sound obvious but it is very easy to forget and revert to your normal driving pattern. A good rule of thumb is to drive on the motorway when you first arrive as it will familiarise you with driving on the right. It is far easier to drift to the wrong side of the road on a back road
Always carry your driving licence and also carry the vehicle registration document and certificate of motor insurance.
Look at maps and plan your route thoroughly. Research the roads you’ll take and try to ensure that you are not travelling through cities during rush hour.
Finally if you are leaving the car at home but intend to hire a car consider the following tips
1) Try and book car hire before you leave but remember prices quoted online often include only the basics
2) Read the small print – Know what is covered by your insurance and what is left out. It’s also vital to know the excess amount that could be charged to your credit card in case of an accident or damage.
3) Check the price of any extras you might need: child seat, additional driver, extra insurance and so on.
4) Do you return the car with a full or empty tank? Review the fuel policy before confirming the booking
19th March, 2014