Whether you’re hitting the road for a weekend break with the kids or making plans for visiting family over the Christmas period, you’ll want to make sure your car is road trip ready before you set off.

In today’s post, the car experts from Citygate are bringing us their top tips for travel this autumn – helping you keep your car in peak condition and offering advice on how to stay safe while you’re out on the open road.

Preparing Your Car for a Road Trip

Check your vehicle

  • Fuel: It may seem obvious that you’ll need to top up your tank before hitting the road, but this is especially important if you’re travelling over long distances and unaware of where the next petrol station may be
  • Windscreen wash: Even if the weather forecast promises bright skies, it’s essential that your windscreen wash is topped up. This will help to give you the best view of the road ahead and clear your windows from any unwelcome motorway dirt
  • Oil: Engine oil helps to lubricate your car and, when this is running low, you face a greater risk of your engine corroding or overheating – which can be very expensive to repair

Preparing Your Car for a Road Trip

  • Water: Keeping your radiator topped up with water will help to ensure that your engine remains cool, while adding an equal amount of antifreeze will prevent your water from freezing in colder temperatures
  • Tyres: Under-inflated tyres and slow punctures may not seem like such big issues but, if your tyre blows out while you’re driving at 70mph, you risk putting yourself, your passengers and other motorists in danger
  • Windscreen wipers: If your windscreen wipers are damaged or broken, they will restrict your view when driving. This will cause particular issues when driving in difficult weather conditions or at night

Plug in

As drivers, we’ve become increasingly reliant on Sat-Navs and smartphones to get us from A to B, choosing to put our trust in tech rather than traditional road maps or our own memory – but what happens if your device runs out of battery while you’re on the road?

Preparing Your Car for a Road Trip

In-car phone and Sat Nav chargers can be your lifeline when covering long distances – keeping your devices fully powered to help you through the course of your journey. Alternatively, you can charge your tech the night before to ensure that all important devices are fully charged before you set off.

Stock up on snacks and songs

No road trip is complete without a playlist. If you’re travelling with children, ask them to think of some songs they’d like to add. This will get them excited about your trip and also keep them occupied during long car journeys.

Preparing Your Car for a Road Trip

If you’re travelling for more than a couple of hours, you’ll want to make sure your car is stocked up with plenty of refreshments. Opt for sweets and crisps rather than chocolate, as this often melts and can create a mess in your car – and don’t forget to pack plenty of water to keep yourselves hydrated!


There’s nothing that ruins a road trip quite like your car breaking down and having the whole family waiting around by the side of the road. Find out if your car dealership offers roadside assistance and ensure you add this onto your package. This way, you can hit the road safe in the knowledge that, even if any unexpected bumps occur, you’ll still arrive at your destination.

Preparing Your Car for a Road Trip

If you’ve been worried about your brakes, car battery, clutch or any other part of your vehicle, have this checked out ahead of your road trip.

With your tank topped up on and the sweets on standby, you’ll be ready to tackle any road trip this autumn!