Safe road trip prepping for summer

A man topping up fluids in a car

Road trips are a quintessential summer experience and becoming an increasingly popular way to explore the UK, with ‘staycation’ and ‘road trip’ gaining 16 million engagements on TikTok in the last week alone.

Staying safe on a road trip, especially if towing a caravan, starts with your car and there are many ways you can ensure it’s in the best condition for a long journey.

Vehicle maintenance experts at Collect Service Go have issued their advice on the best approaches to take before your trip.

Ollie Green, owner of the company, said: “Whether you have your own car, or are opting for a rental, it’s important to ensure that the vehicle is fit for long drives for the safety of yourself, your passengers, and other road users.”

Pre-trip checks

A number of pre-trip checks should be carried out with plenty of time to rectify anything should they highlight an issue:


Start by checking the part of the car that is in contact with the road. Adjust the tyre pressure where necessary and inspect for any signs of wear and tear.

Ensure the tread depth is at least 1.6mm across the central three-quarters section of the tyre. You can use the 20p coin trick as a guide, which states that if the outer band of the coin is obscured when inserted, your tread is above the legal limit.


Take a look at the engine oil, brake fluid and coolant levels, topping up any that are low. Don’t forget to fill the screen wash fluid reservoir and ensure the wipers are functioning effectively.

Not being able to see clearly out of the windscreen is a safety hazard and one that can easily appear mid-journey if something hits the glass.


All car batteries over three years old should be tested to see if they can still hold their charge, as it’s known their performance can deteriorate over time.

It can be a good idea to store a set of jump leads in your car or caravan for long journeys just in case, as you don’t want to find yourself unable to drive away from your pitch at the end of a camping trip.


Test all of the exterior and interior lights on your vehicle, including indicators, brake lights and headlights.

Replace any bulbs that are dim or not working, or you risk being given a fixed penalty fine of £60 with three penalty points on your licence if you’re pulled over.

Steering and brakes

When it comes to suspension and steering, check for unusual noises or handling issues and ensure the steering feels smooth and responsive.

For your brakes, ensure they are reactive and listen for any strange sounds that could indicate there’s a problem.


Photo credit: Unsplash/Tim Mossholder