Our vehicle checklist for cross-country or international drives

Our vehicle checklist for cross-country or international drives

For many of us, dealing with long drives is a regular reality of life. That’s often equally true for private and commercial customers alike - you may be managing a fleet that makes regular national and international trips, or you could simply be a private driver who regularly travels a fair distance for personal or professional reasons.

Whether you’re driving a vehicle that you own, or you’re taking advantage of our great daily car hire or daily van hire deals here at Intack Self Drive, preparation is always key. With that in mind - here’s our handy list of things to stay on top of on your cross country trip. 

General vehicle preparation

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. It’s a great saying which we can firmly get behind, and it’s just as relevant in this context. Before heading off on your journey, we’d advise checking over a few things just to make sure you reduce the likelihood of a breakdown as much as possible. 

    •    Check your oil levels - you can do this with a quick dipstick test
    •    Double-check your cabin air filter - it’ll prevent any stale smells (although you can skip this step if you’ve hired the vehicle from us!)
    •    Make certain you’ve got your tyre iron and jack - nobody wants a damaged tyre to leave them stranded a remote stretch of motorway
    •    Pack a fire extinguisher - fires can get out of hand pretty quickly, so it’s always better to be safe than sorry
    •    If you own the car, make sure your owner’s manual is to hand - it’s always good for helping you identify where certain issues may occur
    •    Condition of tyres - check the tread and look for signs of strain, bulges, or other damage
    •    Wipers and wiper fluid - poorly functioning wipers can turn heavy rain from a nuisance into a deadly risk
    •    Battery charge - a low battery charge can cause your vehicle headlights to dim, and the electrics to become unreliable

Again, if you’ve hired the vehicle from us here at Intack Self Drive, we will thoroughly check all of these issues for ourselves before we give you the keys. If it’s a second hand car though, or a van you’ve borrowed informally, it’s worth giving all of these issues the once-over, just to give yourself some valuable peace of mind. 

Keep yourself in tip-top condition

As well as keeping your vehicle in working order, it’s just as important to make sure you’re in a fit state to drive in. This is arguably the hardest part of undertaking long journeys, and one that it’s all too easy to underestimate, even for experienced drivers. Staying focused and alert is harder than it seems at first, especially if you’re driving through the night. 

The first thing we’d say is try not to strain yourself - if the longest drive you have ever taken is 300 miles in a day, don’t plan a trip with a string of 500-mile days. 

Forget about driving fast - a steady driver can cover more miles overall, as well as save fuel. And make sure to take regular breaks! If you get tired, pull over and rest - it’s not worth risking your safety if you’re falling asleep. Relying on coffee and energy drinks is a huge risk - if you’re dozing off, pull over and have a nap. 

You can also keep yourself engaged and alert by having your favourite podcast, standup comedy, audio book, or up-beat music, all of which can really boost your mood and make those long miles go by a little faster. It’s not worth going through all those vehicle checks if you’re not able to make the journey yourself. Keep yourself safe by taking the necessary steps to make sure you remain focused when you’re on the road. 

Heading to Europe? Keep this in mind

UK registered vehicles will no longer require a “Green Card”. This rule was imposed in 2021, but has now been scrapped. Instead, you’ll need to get yourself a UK bumper sticker to drive in European Union (EU) countries.

Regardless of where you’re going, whether it’s cross-country or across town, we can provide you with quality rental vehicles to suit your needs. Our fleet now spans over 300 cars, vans and minibuses, so if you’re a business user looking for vehicles to meet your company requirements, or just a private customer looking for a personal car for short-term use, you can count on us to have exactly the right vehicle at exactly the right price. Feel free to give us a call on 01254 57811, and we’ll be happy to help however we can!

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