Whether for holidays or work, the car continues to be the most used means of transport by the Portuguese, not only because it is useful but also because of the freedom of movement it allows us. If you are thinking of taking a long trip on this vacation, then find out how to prepare your car to travel safely and in comfort.
As easy as it may seem, preparing the car for travel requires some procedures that you must take into account. Also because you cannot forget that you will spend a few hours in your car to reach your holiday destination and will probably enter countries where the legislation in force is different from the Portuguese one.
So that everything runs smoothly, we have some advice on how to prepare your car for a smooth trip.
But don’t forget: this preparation should start two to four weeks before the departure date so that you have time to change any parts or make any changes to the insurance.
5 Tips to prepare the car for travel
1. Review and ‘check-up’ of the car
Knowing if your car is running in perfect condition is the first task to be done. Do it in advance, two to four weeks in advance, as if you have to change any car component you will have time to do it before your travel date.
Check the review book for the next review date. If there are only a few days left, choose to anticipate the visit to the service, so that you can travel more peacefully. If there is still time for the next inspection, it is advisable to carry out a ‘check-up’ of the car at the brand’s workshop or at authorized workshops just to make sure everything is fine.
It is important to check how many kilometers are left to change wearing parts (filters or even the timing belt). If you happen to go to a destination with a very hot or very cold climate, take the opportunity to confirm that the radiator is in good condition and that it has the right mixture of water and antifreeze.
If the radiator has any problem, it is best to replace it. A week before traveling, check if you need to change the oil.
2. Check tires
Confirming the condition of the tires is extremely important when preparing the car for travel. Check that tire wear is even. If by chance on one side you are spending more, you should have the tires calibrated.
Tire pressure should also be reviewed, as if it is insufficient, the vehicle will consume more fuel. Normally, information about the pressure to apply is in the instruction manual, on the driver’s door or on the tank cap.
Attention: the tires must be inflated when they are cold. And don’t forget to confirm that the spare tire has the indicated pressure and is not “bald”. Because if you are going to do many or even thousands of kilometers, you must be safe in the vehicle you are driving.
Finally, make sure you have your car manual, keys, jack and locknut adapter. If you don’t have the manual, ask for a new one, as something unforeseen may arise and you will be able to solve it more easily.
3. Documents up to date
It is important to make sure that the dates on the car documents and car insurance are in order.
If the trip includes a country that is not covered by the insurance policy, you can ask the insurer for an extension of coverage for the days you will be traveling.
4. Clean car
As you will be sitting in the car for several hours, it is convenient that the vehicle is clean, not only to make it more pleasant, but also to ensure that the air you breathe is as less polluted and contaminated as possible.
We suggest that the day before you leave, you vacuum the car, clean the interior and, by the way, why not do your best and give the exterior a shine as well.
If traveling to Portugal by car, take the opportunity and fill your tank completely in Spain, as petrol or diesel prices are higher in Portugal.
During the journey, pay attention to your driving in order to save fuel. Thus, you will make your trip spending even less money.
And don’t forget, during your trip, stop at least every two hours to rest, get out of the car, stretch your legs and drink a coffee or some water.
If you are traveling together, you can also alternate driving so that it is not tiring. With the car ready to travel, all that remains is for us to wish you a good trip!
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