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Road Trip Guide

9th January 2023

Road trip guide

Planning a road trip this winter? Whether it is to explore the UK, drive or abroad or visit family and friends – ensuring your vehicle is road trip ready is essential. From what to check before you set off, down to the final preparations – our easy-to-follow guide has you covered.  

Vehicle Checks

Before heading off on any road trip, you should make sure your vehicle is prepared. The best way to maintain your car is by having it regularly serviced or booking it for an interim service to ensure your car is ready to cover more miles than it typically would.  

Fluid levels 

Ensure all essential fluids such as your coolant, antifreeze, engine oil and screen wash are at a sufficient level or top up if necessary, using the instructions from the manufacturer’s handbook.  


Checking your tyres is one of the most important checks to perform before any road trip. Ensuring your tyres are in good condition, the tyre pressure is correct, and the tyre tread depth is above the legal requirement of 1.6mm.  


Test your brakes to see if they are performing as they should. If you spot any signs such as a soft or spongy brake – your brake pads may need replacing as they may be too thin.  


Colder weather can be hard on your car’s battery. If your lights appear dimmer, your engine struggles to turn over or your battery is over three years old – you may require a battery health check.  


During the winter, exhaust pipes can suffer from corrosion. You should undertake a visual inspection to ensure there are no damages such as signs of rusting. If you notice any damage to your exhaust, it may require a health check 

Final Preparation 

Now that your vehicle has been inspected, there are some final preparations to consider before you set off. These include: 

Plan your route – we recommend pre-planning your route using a map or sat nav to ensure your road trip goes as smoothly as possible. Consider alternative routes should you run into any trouble along your way and be sure to plan rest stops to avoid fatigue. Mark out any landmarks or sights you wish to see along your way and remember to stay hydrated.  

Anticipate difficult weather – though it can be hard to predict the weather, aim to check the weather forecast and listen to any travel news that may delay or cause trouble on your journey.  

Breakdown cover – we recommend you take out breakdown cover should anything unexpected happen on your travels. To give you peace of mind, it is always good to know you have a back-up-plan and you are in safe hands.  

Documentation – If you are travelling abroad, ensure you have the correct documentation to hand. This includes your passport, vehicle insurance, visa, travel insurance and driver’s license.  

First Aid Kit – as well as a handy kit to have in case of an emergency, this is mandatory in Germany, France and Austria 


To ensure that your vehicle will not let you down on your road trip, a car service will provide a mechanical check of all essential components. If it is not quite time for a full service, book in for an interim service at your local Merityre branch today. For more information, contact our specialist team who will be happy to help.