Preparing your car for winter

Get it serviced

It might seem obvious, but get your car serviced.

It can be all too easy to forget to do this as often as we should – that year can come around more quickly than we realise. If your car is still under warranty, then regular servicing as per the manufacturer’s requirements is a must.

However, it will pay to get things checked before winter kicks in regardless. Many dealers offer free winter health checks so take advantage of these if available near you.

You can also do a lot of the checking yourself, like oil land waters levels, engine coolant and make sure your wipers don’t need replaced.

Get your brake pads, brake discs and brake fluid checked to make sure your car is stopping as well as it should. This is especially important in winter when roads are wet or icy. Check the fan belt and alternator belt are tight and not worn.

Check the spark plugs and other leads are in good condition. Do this regularly through the winter – and, indeed, all year round.

Check your tyres

Tyres are very important – they’re the only part of your car that’s in contact with the road, after all. The legal minimum for tread on your tyres is 1.6mm, but in practice at least 3mm is recommended. Make sure your tyres are in otherwise good condition, checking for cracks in the side walls and other irregularities.

Winter tyres are also worth considering. Although it can seem a bit extreme in the UK and could be considered an unnecessary cost, winter tyres are designed to deal with the worst of weather.

And, if you swap them over in the summer, both sets of tyres will last twice as long, making the overall cost little different.

Remember the basics

Don’t forget the basics that can be done very quickly.

Keep your lights clean. Although it can often seem pointless to wash your car every weekend during the winter, do make sure that your lights are clean. Dirt from the road, especially wet roads, is much worse in poor winter weather and headlights quickly accumulate a grubby film that can reduce the effectiveness of your lights dramatically, so clean them often.

The same goes for your windscreen and wipers. A dirty screen can add to the effect of glare when driving in the dark and make for a streaky view in the rain – which is both annoying and dangerous. Clean the wipers themselves, while checking for deterioration, to make sure they wipe the screen smoothly and without streaking. Replace them if you need to.

Be ready for the worst

Don’t think that preparing for the worst is a silly idea. If you do break down, you’ll be glad for that box of handy stuff you put in your boot for such eventualities.

Include a shovel – in case your car is physically stuck in snow or mud – a torch, blanket, hi-vis vest, screen wash, de-icer and scraper and food and drink supplies.

Make sure, too, that you have a fully charged mobile phone, or the means to charge it.

Neil Worth, road safety officer for GEM, the road safety and breakdown recovery organisation, said: “If you need to drive, have a plan ready that can help you postpone a journey. “Agree to reschedule a meeting or a visit if it’s not vital. In that way, you’re avoiding a lot of potential trouble for yourself, and ensuring you won’t be putting additional strain on emergency and recovery crews, who are sure to be at full stretch in the coming days. “If you’re out and about when snow hits, then the simple preparation measures suggested above really can make a big difference to help keep you safe.”

Check your cover

Above all else, check you’ve got adequate breakdown cover in place.

If the worst does happen, you want to get home quickly and safely.

Breakdown cover these days has various levels, so make sure yours covers what you need. Basic cover will get you roadside assistance – and if your car can be fixed you’ll be on your way. If not, you need cover that will at least get your car to the garage.

If you can afford it, higher-level cover will get you on to a destination of your choice.

Also check your insurance cover. It goes without saying that the risk of a crash increases in bad weather, so check you’re covered if the worst happens. And make sure that you carry details of what to do if you do break down or have an accident – phone numbers and policy numbers are key.

Winter Driving Tips

Slow down

It might seem obvious, but a lot of us forget that we need to drive differently in the winter. If it’s dark, or wet, or icy, for example, slowing down buys you time. It gives you time to access situations and, crucially, to react.

Keep more distance

You might have heard the saying ‘only a fool breaks the two-second rule’.

If you haven’t, then it’s simple. It’s a way of measuring the distance between you and the vehicle in front.

You should keep a two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front and you can measure this by beginning the above saying (it takes two seconds to say it) when that vehicle passes a fixed point. If you pass it before you finish the saying then you’re two close. Now, in winter, try extending this to four seconds.

Stopping distances in the wet are twice what they are for dry roads and on ice they are 10 times as far.

Set aside more time for your journey

If you can, give yourself more time. This will mean that you can factor in the increased potential for delays, as well as giving yourself a mindset that you’ve got plenty of time and don’t need to rush, again reducing the odds of having an accident.

Be mindful of the extra risks

The difficult thing about winter driving can be the hidden risks. Black ice is one such thing – a road might look fine, but could have a layer of ice across it.

Be particularly careful on tree-lined roads. Think about it – the trees mean that the sun doesn’t get onto the road, so the surface could still be icy even when all around it has thawed out.

Watch out for big puddles in the dark when it’s raining – hit one at speed and it’s all too easy to lose control of your car. And, as much as we all love sunny winter days, low sun at this time of year can blind you when driving. Take extra care.

Make sure you and your car are prepared

Washing your car during the winter might seem a bit of a waste of time, but it’s far from it. Although it might seem a fruitless task in the knowledge that it’ll be dirty again within minutes, salt that is used to keep roads ice-free, although with general dirt, builds up quickly during the winter.

So wash your car regularly, in particular keeping the windows and lights clean – as they can quickly build up a film of grime. Keep your fuel tank topped up in case of delays and diversions and keep an eye on traffic information.

Clear your windows properly before setting off and carry a scraper and de-icer. 

Winter Tyres Why Fit Them

Ask any British driver about cold weather tyres and their answer is likely to relate in some way to snow or ice-covered roads. Ask a them how often they encounter snow or ice and the answer is likely to range from very infrequently to occasionally, depending upon where they are located in the British Isles.

Recent prolonged bad winter weather coupled with significant advances in tyre technology has started to change the UK motorists’ attitudes towards winter tyres.

Advancements in technology

The perception that winter tyres only give benefits on snow or ice is years out of date as modern rubber compound technology and advances in tread pattern design mean the modern day winter tyre also provides higher levels of road safety on cold and damp road surfaces too. Much progress has been made over the last twenty-five years and tyre technology is now at a very advanced level. New vehicle concepts, combined with tyres ideally adapted to requirements, have made driving noticeably safer today. The benefits are persuasive – substantially increased mileage performance, less weight, reduced rolling resistance and considerably shorter braking distances on both wet and dry roads all speak for themselves.

“The number of accidents caused by wet road conditions increases in winter by a massive 267 per cent”

As vehicle design and technology has advanced, tyre design has had to do the same but it is unreasonable to expect one tyre type to provide high safety levels with temperature ranges such as +30 oC to -15 oC, both of which have been experienced in Britain in recent years. This is why specialist tyres have been developed over many years. To enable them to develop their potential to the full, there is one crucial aspect – they have to have balanced characteristics.

When am I most at risk?

Ambient temperature is a deciding factor on which tyre type provides the highest safety for road users. Most drivers will adapt driving styles when snow is on the ground and when temperatures drop below zero degrees. Why? Because such conditions are either very visible or very apparent to the driver. However, cold damp road conditions visibly are no different to damp conditions in the warmer months, hence drivers will tend not to adjust driving style to suit, therefore it is potentially these latter road conditions which present the highest risks. Research shows these potentially hazardous conditions are most likely to be encountered when the ambient temperature drops below 7oC, which in the UK means between October and April. Also of interest is the frequency of vehicle damage insurance claims which increases sharply with the onset of the cold season.

On damp or wet roads, tyres grip differently – and the braking distance is substantially longer. Which means the question of the right tyres and the temperature is even more important. Over 7oC – between Easter and October – traditional summer tyres are truly in their element. Between October and Easter however, Cold weather winter tyres show distinct safety advantages. On snow or ice-covered roads, only cold weather tyres reduce the braking distance by those vital metres.

When ambient temperatures fall below 7oC, the molecules in tread rubber progressively harden and freeze. This means that the tyre is less able to adapt to the contour of the road surface, which in turn reduces grip levels. With cold weather tyre rubber compounds, there is a higher proportion of natural rubber and coupled with extended use of silica technology, they minimise the hardening effect at low temperatures. This allows the tyre to key into the road surface, resulting in higher grip levels. Together with highly developed tread patterns, the combination is such that no summer tyre can match.

Preparing your tyres

A small amount of maintenance pays great dividends in terms of safety. Only well-maintained tyres perform fully and provide a comfortable ride. Tyres should be inspected regularly for cracks, cuts and bulges, and every four weeks check the tyre pressure on the cold tyre to ensure optimum contact with the road. Double-check the tread depth too, because as this decreases, braking distances increase. It’s a clear indicator of when to change your tyres – when summer tyres have only 3 mm tread depth and winter tyres 4 mm.

In summary, drivers are five times more likely to skid on snowy or icy road conditions than they are on dry roads, while the number of accidents caused by wet road conditions increases significantly during the winter months.

Despite the fact that 60 per cent of people feel scared or uneasy when driving in winter conditions, fully 75 per cent of these same people would not consider fitting winter tyres. It seems crazy, especially when you realize that the latest winter tyres generally outlast conventional summer tyres by many thousands of miles. So it can’t be purely a financial consideration.

Many car manufacturers through their dealerships and tyre centres are now actively promoting the use of winter tyres and are even offering to store the set you are not using free of charge until you want them refitted. It seems the industry and the British motorists are finally starting to wake up to the benefits of changing tyres to match the seasons’ varying weather conditions.

Your winter survival kit

A fully charged mobile phone. Once a ‘nice to have status symbol’ which has now become an essential part of modern life for most people.

An up-to-date map or Sat Nav. This will help you identify your location to the recovery centre. Most recovery organisations will ask their members to pick out any landmarks to help the operator reach them faster.

Warm clothing and Wellington boots. Prepare yourself in case you get stranded in the snow and need to walk to reach a phone.

Blankets. If the worst should happen and you get caught in traffic or breakdown, it’s important to keep warm whilst you wait for recovery.

A shovel. If setting out in heavy snow, or when it is forecast, it makes sense to carry a shovel in the boot just in case you run into a drift.

Chocolate and a warm drink. If going on a long journey in bad weather, it is also advisable to take supplies of food and drink. You never know what difficulties you may run into.

A torch with working batteries. If it is dark when you break down you may need to get out of the car to see what the problem is. Motoring organisations will always try to identify the cause of the breakdown when the member calls to ensure the operator arrives with any special equipment needed, and the appropriate recovery vehicle.

A first aid kit. If you are involved in a minor accident, or even see another collision on the roads, it is always best to be prepared.

A set of jump leads. The cold weather puts an additional strain on the battery, which can often be remedied with the help of another motorist.

A spare wheel. Check your tyre is in good condition, with an adequate tread and tyre pressure.

In severe weather conditions, we would recommend avoiding driving altogether but if an emergency does arise, driver should:

Clear the windows and mirrors fully of any snow before setting off. Drivers who only clear a small area are not only breaking the law but present a danger to themselves and others on the road by not having clear all round vision. Sections 30 and 34 of the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 state that ‘Windscreens and windows MUST be free from obstruction to vision, and MUST be kept clean’.

Always try to tell someone what time you are travelling and when you expect to arrive. This will alert them should you encounter any difficulties. 

Make sure you also check out our driving tips to keep you safe on the road plus how best to prepare your carand its health during the colder weather.

Winter Car Buying Tips

Although it might seem like a good time to buy a 4X4, prices are likely to rise on these all-weather vehicles in winter, especially in bad weather. However, anyone looking ahead to summer cruising in a convertible could snag a hot deal on a cold day.

A convertible will be a better investment for car buyers at this time of year, as prices are at their lowest between now and Christmas. The problems of leaky roofs and draughty interiors are a thing of the past, thanks to modern engineering, making convertibles much more practical than they used to be.

Many dealers are also jumping on the Black Friday band wagon and have great deals leading up to Christmas and through New Year. It’s worth keeping an eye out for special offers on service plans plus don’t forget to invest in a set of winter tyres.

If you are planning on doing some Christmas car shopping, here’s some handy tips for buying during the colder weather.

OUR WINTER CAR BUYING TIPS

  • Bring a torch – it will help to check under the bonnet and the car’s chassis.
  • Check the bodywork – look for dents, scratches and signs of rust.
  • Wipe away raindrops – raindrops can hide scratches and dents, so ideally view when it’s dry or give the car a wipe.
  • Under the bonnet – if you don’t know what to look for, bring someone who does or book in a professional.
  • Test drive – don’t skip the test drive, take the car through its paces and listen for any engine noises, as well as testing the brakes and steering.
  • Take extra care – test driving an unfamiliar vehicle in winter needs extra care, as wet or icy roads increase stopping distances.
  • Do the carwash test – running the vehicle through a carwash could reveal leaks, saving you hundreds of pounds in the long run and will avoid a soggy winter of motoring.
  • Bring a coat – this way you can test the aircon and the heating. Put your coat on to test the cooling system and take it off to see how quickly the car warms up.
  • Test the tyres – check the tyre tread depth is at least 1.6mm across the whole width, if not ask the seller to fit new tyres – or negotiate a price reduction as a new set of tyres can be costly. But remember, winter takes its toll on tyres, so better to be safe.
  • Salt corrosion – if buying in an area that frequently experiences harsh weather conditions, and roads are regularly salted, check for salt corrosion. While road salt is vital to safer winter driving, it is also extremely corrosive and over time it can cause extensive damage to vehicles.

Tips for selling your car

1. Tidy car means tidy profit

It may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at the amount of car adverts we’ve seen that feature untidy or dirty cars. This can give off the impression that the car hasn’t been cared for or is unloved by its current owner. Even if the car isn’t being used at the time of selling it, give it a good clean and tidy before taking any photos and especially before viewings. A viewer wants to know that the car has been taken care of and it was valued by its current owner. Plus, giving the car a nice clean can make it look newer and possibly help you get the price you’re looking for.

2. Get the right balance of photos

Once you’ve given the car a good clean, it’s time for the photos. A good set of photos can convince someone to call for a viewing so getting the right balance is key. One photo could mean you’re trying to hide something, whereas putting too many on can mean the buyer scrolling for too long and becoming disinterested. Make sure you take a few external shots, from the front, back and sides. If it’s a convertible, take some with the roof up and down. Use the photos to highlight any good features like alloy wheels and body kits. Don’t forget the interior, highlighting features like leather seats, entertainment systems and even the boot size. Aim for 5-6 photos, a mix of inside and out.

3. Be honest

There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve found the car for you and turning up for a viewing to find its not what was advertised. When selling a used car, it’s common for the car to have wear and tear so don’t shy away from being honest. If you’re upfront with the car’s flaws and a buyer still wants to view it, you’ll have a better chance of selling it due to the trust you’ve built with the buyer. Provide as much information about its history as possible and never lie, most buyers will run their own checks anyway. If the car is right for them, they’ll buy it, warts and all.

4. Avoid overpricing

We understand that you want to get the best price for your car, but this can lead to overpricing and can put buyers off even before they’ve had a proper look. Remember you’re selling a used car and that comes with a used price. Just because you value it at a certain price, doesn’t mean someone is willing to pay that. Do some research to see what the going rate for your model is. Is your car in better or worse condition? Is there any additional features that your car has? If you’re willing to negotiate, let buyers know. It’s also important that you don’t sell for too little, decide on a price you’d be happy with yourself and try to not go below that. If a buyer knows you’re keen to sell quickly, they might take advantage. It’s all about coming to an agreement that you’re both happy with.

5. Make sure your advert is seen

There are many options when it comes to the best place to sell your car, but the smart choice is with Exchange and Mart and s1cars. Setting up your advert is quick, simple and can cost as little as £5 for 2 weeks. Even better, if you’re selling a classic car that is more than 25 years old, it’s free! There’s a reason why buyers and sellers have been relying on us for over 150 years, so if you’re looking to sell your car then place your ad today.

Selling your car and looking to upgrade? Whether it’s something newer, smaller or bigger – search thousands of cars in stock today.

When is the best time to buy a new car

It’s all about timing

Most people probably know that every March and September is ‘new reg’ time. Predictably, these are big sales times for dealers, who want to make the most of people who just have to have their brand new car with their brand new reg plate sitting on the drive on day one.

But if you’re not so fussed, February and August are good times to buy. Sales are often slow as buyers wait for the new number plates to come along, so there is likely to be a deal to be had. Worth bearing in mind, though, as silly as it seems, that having an ‘old’ plate on your car, even if you buy it on, for example, August 31, could mean faster depreciation.

There are other times of year to watch out for as well. At the end of each quarter, especially the end of June and December, dealers are looking to hit their quarterly sales targets and you could play that to your advantage.

Keep an eye out for new model releases

If you’re not overly fussed about having the latest version of a model, keep an eye out for the release dates of new or ‘facelifted’ cars and do a deal on the outgoing one a few weeks before it leaves the showroom to make way for the new model. Dealers will want to get rid of old stock and are more likely to offer you a tempting deal. Again, though, think about the fact that the outgoing version will depreciate more quickly than the updated car, even if it’s basically the same age.

If you do want the new model, wait a few months after its launch before going for it. That gives time for the new car buzz to die down and for a better deal to be on the table.

Don’t visit at weekends OK, this isn’t always easy if you work during the week, but showrooms are predictably busier on a weekend. So go during the week if you can, ideally a Friday. The reason? Again, it’s the targets salespeople have to meet. Dealers will be keen to meet their weekly targets, so a Friday visit could yield a good deal for the buyer – you can even actively use it as a bargaining tool.

There are good and bad times of year to buy certain cars

Looking for that top-down motor for the summer sun? Buy it in the winter. Demand for convertibles will be lower during the cold months, so there could well be bargains on offer. Likewise, demand for SUVs and four-wheel-drive vehicles tends to peak during the autumn and winter months because of bad weather, so you might get a better deal on one if you buy in the summer.

Good luck

Do your homework and you should never have to pay full ‘book price’ for a new car. There are always ways to get yourself a deal and salespeople always have room to manoeuvre.

Money Matters: How Much Is Your Classic Car Worth

The first thing to bear in mind is that there is no right answer; cars, like any other commodity, are worth what someone is prepared to pay for them. If you’ve owned a car for some time, its value will have changed since you bought it, for better or worse. There are various ways to check your car’s value. The best places to start are:

 

·         Price guides carried in classic car magazines

·         Online price guides

·         Checking out the prices advertised for similar cars in classified adverts

·         Getting a valuation from a classic car specialist

·         Classic car auction activity

·         Reviews of estimated values from the most popular classic car websites

 

The guide below will give you a little more information on the factors affecting car prices, and this material, combined with the information you can gather from the above sources, should allow you to realistically assess the value of your vehicle in the context of your market.

 

Learning how to correctly estimate used car values is a crucial skill for those who are looking to sell their vehicles or trade them in as a down payment for a new car purchase. If you’re willing to spend a little time doing your research, then it’s easy to conduct a car valuation assessment yourself using online car valuation tools and guides to determine the value of your motor. The rules and processes outlined below help to provide an accurate valuation model for all types of used vehicles, including classic  and antique automobiles. 

The mileage of your vehicle is very important when you’re estimating its value. The average consumer puts 2,000 miles per year on his or her vehicle, so this is the scale used to determine the mechanical age of the car. That means that if your 1960 Chevrolet Corvair has 100,000 miles on the clock, it’s going to be worth significantly less than the same model with a reading of 56,000 on the odometer. For many motor enthusiasts, 100,000 miles is a bridge too far when purchasing a vehicle. The more miles a used car has, the lower the price it will command. Conversely, selling a classic with lower than average mileage can be a very lucrative affair.

Other factors which influence the value of a car are:

 

·         The area a consumer lives in

·         Interior damage

·         Exterior damage such as scratches, nicks and dents

·         Past mechanical problems

·         Poor-quality upgrades/replacement pieces

To command a higher value, you should always keep receipts proving that your classic has received regular maintenance, as a car with an evidential provenance of quality care is likely to be much more reliable long-term.

Selling to a Classic Car Dealer vs. Retail Value

If you carefully calculate a value using the sources above, only to receive a significantly lower quote when you contact a classic car dealer, this is to be expected. There is always a marked difference between your car’s trade in value and retail value, as dealers have to factor in making a profit for themselves when they pass the car on.

The retail value that you’ve calculated is likely to be closer to the actual worth of your car, and is probably around the amount that a buyer would expect to pay if they purchased the car directly from the dealer. The dealer’s offer, on the other hand, is what the dealer is willing to pay you for an immediate sale, factoring in the amount they can sell for and the profit they will make, so it will always be less.

The value dealers will offer you for your classic is not however set in stone, and if you’re looking for a quick sale, contacting a few specialist classic dealers will probably be beneficial. This is because the price you’re offered is affected by how in demand the car is. If a dealer already has a buyer on his books who is looking for that particular model so he knows that he can sell the car quickly, he might be willing to up his price. Similarly, a dealer who already has a classic of the same make and model in his showroom will probably offer less than one who doesn’t, as he knows that he can already meet his consumers’ needs in that area.

If you’re not desperate for a sale, it is always better to wait for a private buyer so that you get top dollar for your classic. You’re much better off selling to other consumers through local newspapers or online than turning to a businessman who’s looking to make a profit.      

Car Valuation Guides Online and in Print

Make sure parts are legitimate and priced correctly so you can maintain your classic vehicle well

There are multiple online websites which offer value calculators to assist consumers in accurately estimating a classic car’s retail price, and a quick Google search will turn up the best of them. Use these sites, of course, but bear in mind that the values obtained will be estimates. The true value of your car will be dependent on a number of factors, from condition to mileage to provenance. Make sure that you don’t use standard car valuation tools, but instead look for special classic car value calculators which list estimates for specific makes and models. Whether you’re driven by curiosity or a desire to sell, you hopefully be pleasantly surprised by what you find. 

Best car games for kids (and adults!)

1. I Spy

Our top spot goes to the classic I Spy. A game that can be played pretty much anywhere and doesn’t require any pre-planning, equipment or age restrictions. It’s great for involving the whole car, even the driver can have a go – as long as they don’t get too distracted. One person takes a turn to ‘spy’ something, it can be in the car or outside. They then recite the line ‘I spy with my little eye, something beginning with (letter)’. Everyone then takes a turn to guess what it is. The winner is the next person to ‘spy’ something, and so on.

2. Road trip bingo

This game takes a bit of pre-planning but is a good way to keep everyone occupied over a longer period of time. It involves each person being given a bingo card, or a sheet of paper, with certain objects you expect to see on your journey. This can be things like cars, a certain colour, landmarks, animals – anything really. Each time someone spots one, they mark it off on their sheet. The first one to get all of them wins a prize!

3. 21 questions

This is another simple game that doesn’t need any pre-planning, just your imagination! One person thinks of a person, it can be a celebrity, sports person etc. You can either play it in pairs, with one person being the thinker and the other the guesser, or the whole car can join in. Either way, you have up to 21 questions to ask and the responses can only be Yes or No. You can’t repeat the same question and the winner starts the next round.

4. A to Z

This game is great for people that enjoy some competition. The game is simple, someone picks a topic like ‘Animals’ and everyone takes a turn to name an Animal that begins with a letter in the alphabet from A to Z. So, the first person starts with A, next person is B and so on. You can make it as easy as you want with the categories but the harder the better, especially when you get to X,Y and Z!

5. The Name Game

This one is may be more for older kids and adults and you can find yourself getting a bit flustered! Again, the rules are simple. Someone picks a famous person like ‘Michael Jackson’ and then next person needs to say the name of another famous person whose first name begins with the first letter of that person’s last name, for example: 

Player 1: Michael Jackson

Player 2: Jennifer Lopez

Player 3: Lady Gaga

And so on!

To make it even more competitive, why not try setting a timer for each person. If they get flustered and can’t find a name, then they’re out! Or, if they get it wrong, try some forfeits for when you arrive at your destination.

Why not try making up your own car game and making it a road trip tradition for you and your travel companions?

Nothing makes a road trip more memorable that the car you’re travelling in. If you’re searching for the perfect car, then search thousands of cars local to you.

Road trip essentials

We know the thought of travelling longer journeys in a hot car, especially with kids or pets, can put anyone off. But, with our road trip checklist, the holiday feeling can start as soon as you get in the car.

Snacks, snacks and more snacks

One of the best parts of any road trip is stocking up on your favourite snacks for the journey. Not only is it essential to keep everyone hydrated in the heat, it’s a good way to get in the holiday spirit with your favourite treats. Make sure you pack plenty of water, juice and try and snacks – healthy ones where possible. Watch out for anything that can melt quickly! Handy tip: Pack some wet wipes to clean any sticky fingers or spills! If you’re travelling with pets, make sure you pack them some tasty treats too and plenty of water.

Something beginning with…G!

Games! Everybody loves a good car game, whether it’s a classic like eye spy or the licence plate game. Most road trip games don’t involve much planning, or equipment, just a good sense of fun and some imagination! Games are a good way of keeping kids, and adults, occupied during long journeys and can help with travel sickness by keeping their minds off the road. It’s also a good idea to pack some playing cards or even iPads if you want some quiet time.

Time for a time out

Speaking of quiet time, it’s a good idea to schedule in some nap times for kids during long journeys especially when they start to get restless. Some children can find it hard to sleep in the car so packing some pillows and even their favourite blanket can help them feel more comfortable and drift off to the land of nod. It’s also important to give the driver a rest so make sure you schedule in stops along the way or even an overnight stay for cross-country trips.

Car-aoke

Arguably the best part of a road trip is the playlist! Whether it’s some chill out tunes or a fun family sing-a-long, there’s nothing better than getting everyone together to create your own playlist. Start planning in advance of the trip and get everyone to select a handful of songs to feature. This way there’ll be a nice mix of songs and with something to keep everyone happy. You never know, you might reveal some guilty pleasures. It also means you’re not having to constantly re-tune the radio every couple of hours.

It’s all about the ride

Last but not least, the perfect item for a great road trip is the ride! It could be a sporty, convertible to get the top down and the wind in your hair, or a 7-seater big enough for kids, dogs and the kitchen sink – packed with in-car entertainment. If you’re searching for that perfect car, then check out the thousands of cars we have in stock.