SUMMER DRIVING TIPS FROM COLIN APPLEYARD

Summer driving means high temperatures, increased stress levels & extra demands on your car. Take a quick read of our Summer Driving Tips to make sure you're prepared for all your family outings and road trips as the better weather approaches.

FUEL UP

It may sound obvious but remember to fuel up. You may be surprised to hear that running out of fuel is still one of the most common causes of breakdown on the UK’s motorways!

Don't forget to use the right type of fuel too - you wouldn't believe how many people get it wrong which can be a costly mistake! If you plan your fuel stops in advance you can save yourself money on your summer journey.

Take a little time to find out where the cheapest petrol stations are on your route especially with the current price of fuel at the pumps. You could then spend the savings on some fish and chips at the seaside with your kids!

We've put together a guide which includes tips to improve your fuel economy and also found a handy website which will help you to find the cheapest fuel in your area.

Improve fuel efficiency


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SMART DRIVING

Whilst mobile phones come in handy when it comes to avoiding traffic jams (and providing a great playlist to sing along to whilst you travel) handheld devices should never be used whilst driving (see our guide on changes to the HighWay Code which includes rules on the use of mobile phones).

Plan your route in advance and utilise the connections available. Most cars now have the option to connect via bluetooth and / or Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which allows you to drive safely whilst still utilising smartphone apps.

It's a good idea to check travel news before you leave so you can adjust your journey if required. SAT NAV systems & live traffic functions will also provide you with updates along the way.



ADVICE FOR HAYFEVER SUFFERERS

One in three drivers admits to being distracted by hayfever and two million drivers are thought to have had an accident, near miss or lost of control of their vehicle as a direct result of hayfever.

So, if you are a hay fever sufferer, it’s important to follow these tips:

  • Make sure any medication you’re taking is non-drowsy
  • If your hay fever is particularly bad, try to get someone else to drive if you can
  • Keep windows and air vents closed to reduce pollen grains in the car
  • Clean mats and carpets regularly to reduce dust
  • Wear sunglasses to block out bright sunlight


AVOIDING TRAFFIC JAMS

Preparation is the key! Consider taking an alternative route especially at peak times to avoid heavy traffic on busy motorways. .

Be strategic when it comes to your timing especially if you’re travelling during the working week when you could try to avoid rush hour. Also consider Bank Holidays and weekends away - could you drive back later and avoid the crowd?

Keep a check on the latest travel bulletins on local radio for updates of any accidents or unexpected road closures.



TAKE A BREAK

It's vital that you stop and take a short break and even a quick nap if you feel tired to avoid any risk of losing your concentration.

It’s best to avoid getting tired in the first place if you can. Try these tips:

  • Include a 20-minute break in journeys of more than three hours.
  • On longer trips, plan to take regular breaks. You could stop off at a local tourise attraction & take in the sights!
  • Try not to eat a heavy meal before driving

Remember that the hard shoulder of a motorway is for emergencies only plus there are sometimes parking restrictions in motorway service areas so always check before to avoid any tickets for overstaying your welcome.



KEEP YOUR WINDSCREEN CLEAN​

​You're more than likely in a good habit of checking your windscreen washer solution is full before driving during the winter months but what about during the summer months?​ Summer can cause a risk of a dazzle from the bright sun and this can be made even worse if you've got a dirty windscreen.

Keep your windscreen clean at all times, get scratches and chips repaired, use your sun visor and wear non light reactive sunglasses.


AIR CONDITIONING

Whilst we might not live in the warmest of climates, vehicles do heat up quickly when the sun is shining on them and temperatures are at a high. 

Make sure your air conditioning system is in full working order and if necessary, get it checked over before you set off on your journey. 

If the coolant leaks or the fan is faulty, the car could overheat – which could prove expensive, so ensuring it’s in good condition could ultimately save you money.​



STAY HYDRATED

Keeping hydrated whilst driving is really important and will aid your concentration levels.

Avoid fatigue and the possibility of becoming dehydrated by having a bottle of water by your side.

And don't forget to plan in some rest breaks as we've already said. As well as giving your eyes and mind a rest, you can also take a toilet break! Just a few minutes will not drastically impact on your overall journey time.



ANTI SICKNESS REMEDIES

There is nothing worse than being sick or feeling nauseous when you’re driving, or having poorly children in the back of the car to make your journey a lot harder.

As well as over the counter anti sickness tablets there are other methods to help keep travel sickness at bay. You could try an acupressure bracelet which have a small plastic 'button' on the inside. The 'button' applies gentle pressure on acupuncture points to help reduce any feelings of sickness.

Did you know that eating ginger biscuits coudl also help? As well as being a nice tasty snack, ginger can act as a natural remedy to nausea.



CAR MAINTENANCE & CHECKS

It's important to make sure your car is prepared for the roads ahead. As well as having regular servicing and your annual MOT, there's a number of regular checks you can do for yourself, including checking your tyre pressures are correct and oil and washer levels etc are correct.

If you're heading off on a long journey or road trip, then for peace of mind you may want to consider having a checkover carried out by your local dealership.

Colin Appleyard customers who are part of our service plan club get a FREE summer health check as one of the many benefits (you can see full details of how our service plans work along with all the other benefits here)

If you'd like to find out more about our summer health checks, or would just like some advice on general maintenance or servicing, you can speak to a member of our aftersales team at your local Colin Appleyard dealership.

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