5 top tips for planning a road trip

If you’re going on a road trip this summer, it’s always best to be prepared because you never quite know what’s around the corner. So, to help you plan the perfect journey, comparison site experts mustard.co.uk share their top tips, including advice on how to make sure you get cheap car insurance in the uk

  1. Plan the journey

Setting off and ‘seeing how things go’ might sound like spontaneity at its best but it could mean you miss out on some great attractions along the way. Not only that, it can be frustrating if everywhere you want to go has been booked out several months in advance. 

To make the most of your road trip, choose your destination and plan a route with highlights and pit stops en-route. You can of course still be flexible if something pops up, but having a good idea of what you’re going to do can help ensure your trip goes as well as possible. 

road trip
  1. Prepare your car

Your car will need to be in tip top condition, especially if you’re covering hundreds of miles. Needless to say, your car should be up to date with its MOT and if it’s due one, then book it in with enough time for repairs to be carried out if needed. 

Otherwise, check all the essentials including:

  • Car oil and coolant levels
  • Tyre tread and pressure, particularly if you’re towing a caravan
  • All lights including headlamps, indicators and brake lights 
  • Screenwash and windscreen wipers 
  • Fuel 
  1. Pack essentials

Naturally, what you need will depend on where you’re going and what you’ll be doing but there are a few necessities you should keep to hand, for example:

  • A map (in case your sat nav doesn’t pick up reception)
  • Phone charger and adapter for the car
  • Fuel can
  • Torch and batteries
  • Sick bags and travel sickness tablets
  • Water and snacks  
  • Blankets and spare clothes to hand, especially if you’re travelling with young children
  • First aid kit and any medication you need

If you’re going abroad, remember to check what you need in each country you’re travelling through. For example, in many European countries you must have a warning triangle, reflective jacket and first aid kit in your car at all times. You will also need a UK sticker if you’re travelling in Europe (not a GB sticker). 

  1. Check documents are up to date

Whether you’re driving in the UK or in Europe (or beyond) your driving licence should be up to date. 

In some countries, you may need an international driving permit (IDP) but this will depend on where you’re going and how long for. If you need one, they currently cost 5.50 and can be bought from the Post Office or you can also get an IDP online; to qualify for one you must:

  • Be aged 18 or over
  • Have a full UK driving licence 
  • Live in the UK

It’s also a good idea to apply for a global health insurance card (GHIC) which replaces the European health insurance card (EHIC). If your EHIC hasn’t expired, you can still use it, otherwise you can apply for a free GHIC at NHS.UK

  1. Make sure you’ve got the right car insurance

Everyone who plans to drive the car you’re travelling in, must have appropriate car insurance. If you don’t, you risk a fine and penalty points but in the worst case scenario you could even be disqualified from driving. 

If you’re sharing the driving, it’s worth considering temporary car insurance. Policies can last for as little as 24 hours up to several weeks so they’re ideal for road trips or short bursts of travel. 

Another benefit is that temporary car cover is classed as a standalone policy so it won’t interfere with an annual plan if you have one and a claim won’t affect your no claims bonus

How to make sure you get cheap car insurance in the UK

You can do all sorts of things to lower the cost of cover, for example:

  • Paying for your policy in one go
  • Making sure your car is secure 
  • Reducing the number of miles you drive
  • Choosing a car in a low insurance group
  • Build up your no claims bonus

However, there’s one quick and easy way to lower premiums in just a few minutes, and that’s to compare quotes. At mustard.co.uk, you can compare dozens of leading UK insurers to find annual or temporary car insurance that suits you and your budget. 

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