Segensworth Automobiles are reminding drivers of the importance of pre-drive checks to avoid a breakdown.

An estimated 20.8m leisure trips will be taken by drivers this weekend as schools across the UK break up for the Easter holidays.

A survey of 1,435 drivers’ plans for the coming weekend suggests that Saturday is likely to see the greatest numbers on the roads – with some 5.6m getaway journeys expected – followed by Friday, the day when many school terms finish ahead of Easter when around 5m trips will be taken. An additional 5.6m trips are predicted to be taken at some point between Friday and the end of Sunday, with these drivers unsure on exactly which day they’ll go away.

Data from transportation analytics specialists INRIX suggests that early starts or postponing journeys until later in the day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday could be the best way of avoiding any queues, with major roads expected to be particularly busy between 10 am and 3 pm over the weekend.

Our guide to travelling by car this Easter

How can I prepare my car for travel?

If you’re part of the 81% of drivers that rarely or never check your car before a long trip, it is even more important for you to do your necessary car checks now. They can reduce the likelihood of a breakdown over the Easter period. 

FUEL 

Ensure you have enough fuel for your journey. Cars use more fuel in heavy traffic and start/stop conditions which can be regular occurrences.

OIL 

To avoid engine damage and a potential breakdown, remember to check your oil level and top up when necessary

TYRES

Your tyres can tell you a lot about how your car is performing. If they aren’t wearing evenly, then tyre pressures may be mismatched or there could be a fault with the steering.

Check that all four tyres have at least 3mm of tread and are inflated to the correct pressure – this is vital to maintaining good grip in wet conditions.

Also, take a look at your wiper blades to ensure they’re clearing the screen effectively and that the rubber has not perished.

COOLANT 

Make sure it’s topped up to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended levels and it contains the right amount of anti-freeze.

LIGHTS

Check all of your lights are working correctly including your indicators, brake lights and fog lights – and replace any faulty bulbs or blown fuses.

SCREENWASH 

Top up your windscreen washer fluid by using a good quality screenwash that is effective at all temperatures.

What should I take in my vehicle if I am going on a long journey?

The most important thing is to be prepared for anything, including a breakdown so you should ensure you have:

  • A fully charged mobile phone – charge your phone up while you drive if you can, or consider taking a portable ‘power bank’ charger in case your battery runs low
  • Water or other hydrating drinks
  • A blanket or a coat that keeps you warm
  • Some food or snacks
  • A face covering for when you might need to stop and go into an indoor public space, or in case you break down
  • It’s worth taking items with you that will keep young passengers in the back seat entertained
  • Details of your breakdown provider

What key things should I do before I travel?

Planning your trip is just as important as the trip itself. We recommend the following:

  • Plan your journey with a map, a sat-nav or a route planner to ensure you do not have any navigation problems on your journey. If possible, plan your journey for when roads are likely to be quieter and remember that it’s important for your safety to take breaks on longer journeys
  • Let your hosts know when you’re setting out. It’s always worth letting those you’re visiting know when you’re leaving, and when you expect to arrive

Adapted from an original article by rac.co.uk