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Driving tips and other life stuff

5 tips for a fantastic summer’s driving

When we get nice weather in the UK, you need to jump on it - before it starts raining again. If you’re heading out in the car any time over this summer, take a check through this list before you do.

  1. Keep the liquids topped up

    For your car

    The middle of nowhere is a great place to be when you want to be there. Not so much when you're stuck. To keep your car in top condition this summer, make sure you keep the fluids from running empty:

    • Engine oil
    • Windscreen washer
    • Engine coolant
    • Fuel (it helps)

    For you

    You need to stay hydrated too but here’s a warning: drinking water from plastic bottles left in a hot car is not a good idea. The chemicals in the plastic enter the water and do you absolutely no good – remember that weird taste? That’s evil in a bottle.

    You should always keep a proper drinking bottle in your car no matter what time of year it is, but in summer (traffic jams!) it’s even more important.

    Just keep an eye on the kind of liquids you’re drinking – it’s easy to get through more cider than you’d planned when it’s hot, so if you’re driving home stay aware of the limit and check the bottle.

    Just one drink can easily take you over your safe drive limit so check with Drinkaware to work out how many units are in your personal favourite.
  2. Check your tyres

    High temperatures can make any existing damage to your tyre rubber even worse. Make sure you check your tyre tread and pressure before starting out on a long journey. Read more about how to take care of your tyres here.

  3. Rock the shades

    Yep, sunglasses don’t only exist to make us look darkly glamorous – they’re just what you need to reduce glare from the bright summer sun.

    It’s also a good idea to clean your windscreen regularly and replace your wiper blades if they’re a bit worn, so you're not distracted by dusty marks.

  4. Look after the keys

    Do yourself a favour and put your keys somewhere safe – and by safe I do NOT mean ‘in the sand next to your towel’.

    You will be very unpopular if you have to make your friends walk up and down a darkening beach looking for your car keys so you can all get home.

    A surprisingly high number of summer breakdown calls are the result of lost or damaged car keys. Sand and seawater are fatal for key fobs so keep them in a safe and dry place – especially at the beach!

  5. Stay alert

    It’s all too easy to get caught up in the long summer evenings, afternoons spent in the pub garden and lazy days of doing absolutely nothing.

    But stay smart. Make sure you check your drink units so you know you’re not creeping over the legal drive limit. And you know what? You’re better off just avoiding alcohol completely if you’re driving.

    If you're on a long drive and you start to feel drowsy, stop for a coffee and a walk around. You can find more tips for avoiding drowsiness on long drives here.

The sun's out which means you don't have an excuse to avoid car maintenance. If it's been a while, here's how to check your oil.
Updated: 09/08/2019