There is a lot to think about when you are preparing to go on vacation. Remembering to take your passport and to pack all of the right clothing and equipment is of course top of your mind, as is arranging for accommodation and planning the journey to your ultimate destination.
The latter of these points is particularly important if you are going to be driving to your own vehicle to your holiday location, as you not only have to plan your route but also have to ensure that you are covered for the journey ahead. This is something which is easy to lose track of, particularly in light of how confusing the motoring market can be when it comes to travel in foreign locations.
We therefore take a look at the kind of things that you need to bear in mind when it comes to making sure your vehicle is ready for the trip ahead.
Servicing and Maintenance
First and foremost you should of course remember to make sure that your vehicle is capable of completing the journey ahead. It is therefore recommended that you take the vehicle to your local garage and ask them to check out the condition of important aspects of your vehicle such as the brakes, battery and tyres. You might consider it expensive to have these repaired if fault is found, but surely it is a better alternative than risking the lives of yourself and others.
You should also make sure that your tyre pressures are up to scratch. Not only is this a safety consideration, but it will also have a bearing on the fuel consumption of your vehicle. Road safety organisation TyreSafe estimates that the average motorist will increase fuel consumption by 2.5% by having the incorrect tyre pressure levels which could be quite a significant amount of money if you are planning a cross country expedition. The group also claims that tyre life spans can be reduced by as much as 65%.
Breakdown cover is actually quite a significant consideration which is often overlooked by motorists who are planning to drive their vehicles overseas. Failing to having a breakdown cover in place will not only result in you being liable to pay excessive call out fees to local garages, but also leaves you attempting to find these garages in an unknown area while conversing in a language which you are potentially unfamiliar with. This can not only be stressful and confusing, but could also leave you liable to attended to by mechanics who simply are not up to scratch.
However, many conventional breakdown cover policies will only agree to cover you for any call outs within your home country. It is therefore advised that you arrange for a dedicated European breakdown cover policy to be put in place prior to setting off on your journey. This will be more expensive than a conventional policy, but you may consider this worthwhile given the additional peace of mind that it affords as well as the fact that it helps you to avoid potentially expensive and unexpected call out fees.
Just like with your breakdown cover policy, your car insurance provider may not agree to afford you the same levels of protection in the event of an accident as it would if you were to have an accident within your home nation. This will often result in fully comprehensive policies being downgraded to third party levels of even lower.
It is therefore recommended that you check on where you stand as far as car insurance is concerned with your current provider prior to setting off on your journey.If you feel that the level of cover which you will be provided with in foreign lands is not enough, then you could opt for a temporary dedicated European car insurance policy.