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A guide to checking tyres before a road trip

Written by Fiona

August 29 2022

If you are about to set off on a staycation holiday somewhere in the UK, such as to London or perhaps to Scotland, there are some things that you should do before you set off. An important consideration is to make sure that your car is up to the stress of a long drive, especially your tyres, which you will be relying on to get you there and back. Here is a short guide to checking your tyres before you head off on your road trip.

Tread depth

All the items that come up on your annual MOT are there because they help to keep your car roadworthy. This includes your tread depth, which should always be above the legal minimum of 1.6mm across at least the middle three-quarters of the contact area. However, many mechanics advise that this should be upped to a minimum of 3mm across the entire contact surface if you are going to be driving on unknown roads.

Unless you are absolutely certain that your roads will be in great condition, it is always better to err on the side of caution.

Tyre inflation

Your tyres are designed to work best at the correct levels of inflation and, in fact, it can be dangerous to use them if they are over or under-inflated. Keep yourself, your family and other road users safe by topping up the air and keeping an eye on it throughout your holiday. Almost all services have an air station alongside their fuel pumps.

Spare tyre, or substitute

Make sure you have a spare tyre, especially if you are going to be staying out of town or in an area where there is poor mobile connectivity. You might not be able to summon roadside assistance in more remote areas. However, if you are going to an urban area, you will probably get by, and be able to call someone to help you out.

ailing a spare tyre, some manufacturers issue their vehicles with a can of compressed air and a tyre patching kit, so you can get yourself back on the road and find a mechanic to replace the damaged tyre.

In order to be safe on the road, keeping a spare tyre can save the day. But an even smarter approach is: to discontinue your worn out tyres and get new ones fitted before you plan the trip. Local garages are ideal to help you find the right tyres. Let’s say, if you are looking for tyres in London, – you can book them online at DAT Tyres (020 8969 3030). Getting the right tyres will save you from any probable road trouble and you can truly make the most out of your trip.

Mobile tyre fitters

Carry with you – in the glovebox or somewhere similar – a list of local mechanics and the best mobile tyre fitter that covers the area you will be staying in. As the old saying goes, it is infinitely better to have this information and not need it than the alternative of needing it and having no way to acquire it should you break down in an area with no Wi-Fi or mobile connections handy.

A good map

As well as this, make sure you know where you are going, and have a back-up to your trusty sat-nav, especially if you are going off the beaten track and people will not miss you for some time, should you get into trouble. A paper map works all the time (as long as you have light to read it!) and will prove useful should your satnav lose contact with some of the GPS satellites.

When it comes to having a safe and relaxing holiday the key is preparation in advance. By covering all the contingencies you will hopefully have lots of redundancies in place that you will not need, allowing you to enjoy your getaway without thinking of your car as anything more than the reliable form of transport it is meant to be.

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