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Driving home for Christmas?

Driving over the festive season can present many challenges even for the most experienced drivers.

Driving home for Christmas

Driving over the festive season can present many challenges even for the most experienced drivers.

These can include poor driving conditions, busy roads, distracted drivers, and even a few merry pedestrians you need to watch out for. To help you avoid some of the more common motoring problems and be more prepared in the run-up to Christmas, we’ve put together a few handy hints to help you and your family through the festive period. Many of these may come as second nature to you, but it might be handy to share with your family.

Winter essentials for your car

It’s important to give your car a regular check and with Christmas being a busy time of year, it’s something that we can all easily forget.

Check your oil levels and battery, and make sure that your lights are in good working condition.

Don’t get caught out by the early morning and late night frost. Buy yourself a new supply of de-icer and keep it in your glove compartment along with an ice scraper, it’s sensible to keep a back-up supply in the boot as well. Remember, never pour boiling water onto your windscreen as it can scratch or crack the glass.

It’s really important to check your tyres to ensure you’ve got all the grip you need. A simple way to test this is by using a 20 pence coin. Just insert the coin into the main tread grooves of your tyres. If the coin’s outer band is no longer visible then your tread is above the legal limit. Look online for more safety guidance and get your tyres tested by a professional if you’re unsure.

Check your wiper blades for wear and tear and don’t forget that you’ll also need a higher concentration of screen wash in winter to compensate for the colder temperatures. Make sure to check your screen wash level regularly too, as you’ll be using it a lot more than in the summer!

Think about packing an emergency kit for your car, especially if you’re going on a long journey. Possible items could include a shovel, high-visibility vest, reflective warning sign, torch, blanket, jump leads, extra warm clothing, first aid kit and don’t forget some snacks or chocolate!

Many garages offer winter checks for your car, so if in doubt about what you should check, seek some help.

Prepare for your journey

If you can, plan your journey in advance and check for any roadworks or closures, and updates on the weather forecast. With more cars on the roads and shorter daylight hours, there’s potential for delays and accidents, so also remember to allow extra time for each journey.

Preparing for the festive period can be very tiring and some road accidents are caused by driver tiredness, so make sure that you take plenty of rest breaks and if possible share the driving with someone else.

Finally, if you are carrying presents and gifts in the car, try and keep them out of sight in the boot. It would be a shame for all your efforts to be ruined by a bah humbug thief!

Check your breakdown cover

No one wants to breakdown at any time of the year, but they are commonplace in the winter months, so it will be worth checking if you have cover and, if you do, what level of cover you have.

Time to check that you are fully covered with your car insurance?

Great protection, no hidden costs, easy to switch

Unlike many insurers, there are no hidden extras when you insure with Police Mutual. With no admin fees and interest-free monthly payments, Police Mutual car insurance cover could help alleviate the financial strain we can all feel at this time of year. If you switch straight away, Police Mutual will pay any cancellation fees you might be charged by your current provider, up to the value of £125.

For more information about our car insurance and how you could benefit, click here or call 0800 032 2610.

Police Mutual car insurance is provided by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc.

PMGI Limited, trading as Police Mutual, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered in England & Wales No. 1073408. Registered office: Alexandra House, Queen Street, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6QS.

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Article published on 1 December 2017

David Reeves

About the author

David Reeves is one of the Senior Marketing Managers here at Police Mutual. He is based in the General Insurance office in Liverpool and likes running and walking in his spare time.

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