Preparing a car for a long journey?

22 replies
Found 24th May 2010
Long story short, we are going to Alton Towers in a few weeks and we will be driving there, about 200 miles each way. We were going to hire a car a) as a treat and b) because our car has been a bit tempermental recently. However, the cost of hiring a car is ridiculous, we are looking at about £200 for four days, not including petrol.

To be fair, our car has been fine recently but about four / five months ago it was taking several attempts to get started. We took it to the garage and had it looked at but they can't find anything wrong with it. Since then we had had a new cam belt / battery and fuel pump fitted and it has been running fine.

We have never driven this sort of distance so we want to make sure we are prepared. Is there anything we can do to make sure the car is ready for the long journey?

Thanks

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22 Comments

Banned

Do you have breakdown cover?

Banned

Check Tyre pressures
Check Oil level / Engine water
Fill her up, and off you go.

OP: You worry too much, just go for it, if its gonna breakdown, tough luck, but the chances are you'll be fine.

the usual ...oil, water, and air in the tyres . it might be worth looking into basic AA or RAC or GREEN FLAG cover, have a nice day, im sure it will be fine

Original Poster

DLM;8678253

Do you have breakdown cover?



Yeap, we both have breakdown cover, him with AA and me with my bank.

vibeone;8678265

Check Tyre pressuresCheck Oil level / Engine waterFill her up, and off … Check Tyre pressuresCheck Oil level / Engine waterFill her up, and off you go.OP: You worry too much, just go for it, if its gonna breakdown, tough luck, but the chances are you'll be fine.



Yes, I know. I always worry about what could happen.

ding;8678287

the usual ...oil, water, and air in the tyres . it might be worth looking … the usual ...oil, water, and air in the tyres . it might be worth looking into basic AA or RAC or GREEN FLAG cover, have a nice day, im sure it will be fine



Thanks!

service the car,,,

i broke down 200 miles into a 350 mile trip, the AA towed me for an hour down the m5 to get it fixed, if its gonna happen just be prepared, mobile phone, breakdown cover membership card and a credit card .

In-car DVD player to keep kids amused (or alternative method) or you'll be tearing your hair out listening to "Are we there yet!" after the first hour. I Spy just doesn't cut it these days.

Apart from all the car servicing stuff, I just want to add that if the car does break down, you all have to exit the car and sit somewhere safe, away from the road. 'Tis just, all it takes is one dozy lorry driver to veer a couple of feet to the right, and you could be in some serious bother.

dxx;8678527

Apart from all the car servicing stuff, I just want to add that if the … Apart from all the car servicing stuff, I just want to add that if the car does break down, you all have to exit the car and sit somewhere safe, away from the road. 'Tis just, all it takes is one dozy lorry driver to veer a couple of feet to the right, and you could be in some serious bother.



Or to the left?

Banned

£200 car hire!

£94 for a ford focus for 4 days here

carhire3000.com

200 miles isn't a " long journey ".;-)

Just check your vehicle over before you set off.:thumbsup:

csiman;8678693

£200 car hire!£94 for a ford focus for 4 days h … £200 car hire!£94 for a ford focus for 4 days herehttp://www.carhire3000.com



Chances are that if you have an old car the focus will probably save up to half that £94 in your fuel costs, especially if you hire a diesel against your petrol.

awoodhall2003;8678633

Or to the left?



Yes, that as well.

You probably do 400 miles a week driving around where you live, Your concerned you might break down, Nothings saying an hire car won't break down. You've got breakdown cover, If it's basic upgrade it to "get me and my passengers to our destination cover".

You've had no problem recently and it may of struggled to start because it don't like cold weather. perhaps it might of been a dodgy batch of fuel causing the problem.

A couple of years a go I had a 10 year old Mondeo, I was driving from Cornwall to home around 350 miles with 300 miles to go the car started losing power as if it was miss-firing, I had no breakdown cover, However miraculously I made it home, Next day I checked all the basics put some fresh petrol in and it was great never had a problem with it. It must of been the fuel.

Prepare a tool box to keep in the boot . I have always done this especially when going long distances but keep it there all the time now . Petrol/diesel can , set of tools : spaners/pliers etc. , foot pump ,jump leads , spare bulbs , warning triangle , flash light/torch , oil ,water , wheel nut spanner . Theres just a few things , but things like a flask , blanket and even a tow rope and first aid kit may come in handy .
Check out the car before you leave , tyre pressures , oil level , water in radiator , water in windscreen washer bottle .Make sure your spare tyre is in good nick too and allways have a fully charged mobile phone and even a spare with your emergency numbers on . I would also carry photo copys of driving licence , insurance details . This maybe overkill for a journey of 200 miles , but it's always best to be prepared for any scenario .
Finally , you want something to keep the kids ocupied for the journey too .

bit of a worrier aint ya i wonder if the people doing 200+ miles a day for work feel like this or just get on with it

Original Poster

csiman;8678693

£200 car hire!£94 for a ford focus for 4 days h … £200 car hire!£94 for a ford focus for 4 days herehttp://www.carhire3000.com



Thanks but what is making car hire expensive is the fact that my boyfriend (who will be driving) is 24. He will be 25 on the second day of the car hire but apparently this won't make any difference. Most companies charge £15 - £20 a day young driver surplus which really pushes the price up.

Inactive;8678784

200 miles isn't a " long journey ".;-)Just check your vehicle over before … 200 miles isn't a " long journey ".;-)Just check your vehicle over before you set off.:thumbsup:



It is for us!

greg_68;8678826

Chances are that if you have an old car the focus will probably save up … Chances are that if you have an old car the focus will probably save up to half that £94 in your fuel costs, especially if you hire a diesel against your petrol.



It is a 2000 Clio, fuel costs are fine with that. It will probably cost us £60 total for petrol which isn't that bad.

Original Poster

SOSAGES;8679051

bit of a worrier aint ya i wonder if the people doing 200+ miles a day … bit of a worrier aint ya i wonder if the people doing 200+ miles a day for work feel like this or just get on with it



Well that is their choice and I am sure people who drive long distances all the time are perfectly comfortable doing so. We generally don't drive long distance, hence why I want to be prepared.

Banned

are you staying at alton towers, in other words do you need the car whilst there, couldnt you hire the car from A to B, then hire another car from B back to A, so only two days hire, or what about trains with a train family card


but like others have said , just be prepared and make sure you have breakdown cover, only problem is if it goes on the journey to alton towers how you gonna get back

Banned

seriously, it isnt a long distance, even for a 2000 clio. its only a 3 hour drive!

I regularly do 400+ miles a day, just jump in the car and drive, if it goes wrong then ring RAC / AA. I keep a bag full of food and drinks, phone charger, coat and blanket in the car (for those just in case moments).
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