Whether you’re taking the whole family or flying solo, preparation is the secret to a successful road trip - including packing some decent snacks.

Car checklist

Before you head off on your great adventure, run through these basic checks to make sure your car is in good working order.

If you find any issues, call your mechanic – better to be safe than sorry.

  • Make sure you have enough fuel, oil and radiator coolant
  • Make sure all your tyres are properly inflated and they have enough tread
  • Check the battery water level is correct
  • Clean your windscreen and make sure the wipers and washers are operating and cleaning correctly
  • Make sure your fuel gauge and temperature gauge are operating correctly
  • Check that the spare wheel is secured and in good condition
  • Pack a lifting jack, a wheel brace and the right tools to remove the hubcap or wheel trim
  • Make sure all lights operate to regulations
  • Check the radiator for leaks and the hoses for softening or cracking
  • Make sure the fanbelt isn’t cracked or loose
  • Make sure the steering joints aren’t loose
  • Make sure the engine mountings aren’t loose or contaminated with oil
  • Make sure the exhaust system isn’t leaking or loose
  • Check for any oil leaks from the engine, gearbox and differential
  • Check for any fluid leaks from master cylinders, wheels, pipes and unions
  • Check for water in the fuel bowl or fuel filter

Essential tools

If you break down, it's handy to have tools stored in your car. You also need to make sure they’re the right tools: that the jack suits the car, the wheel brace fits the wheel nuts and the spark plug spanner can remove all the spark plugs (they can be awkward).

Your basic toolkit should include:

  • Adjustable wrenches (large and small)
  • Screwdrivers (straight blade, large and small)
  • Screwdrivers (Phillips head, set of three)
  • Wooden jack base
  • Jack and pump
  • Tyre repair outfit, including valve key
  • Wheel brace and tyre levers
  • Spark plug spanner
  • Tow rope