I don’t know about you but I love going on road trips! They are an excellent excuse to get out of the house and venture to places you’ve never been to before. I’ve been lucky enough to go on a few family road trips to Europe in the past.

I’ve noticed that many people are unsure about what to do if they want to go to the continent from the UK. Sure, it’s easy to fly over, get a train or cross over the Channel on a ferry. But, if you want to drive yourself there, what should you do to prepare your car for the journey?

In today’s blog post, I’m going to share with you tips I’ve used from my past experiences. Check them out below:

How To Prepare Your Car For A Family European Road Trip

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Give your car the once-over

It’s quite important that you ensure your car’s mechanical abilities are sound. The last thing you want to do is have a breakdown in a foreign country! If you’re not a car “person”, get a garage to check your car over.

Otherwise, here are a few checks that you can do at home:

  • Brakes – check for excessive wear, and replace discs and pads where necessary. If your brakes squeal when you brake, have a mechanic add grease to the back of the pads;
  • Tyres – check for cracked sidewalls and low tread depths. Get new tyres if your treads are less than 1.8mm. Consider fitting good all-round tyres like the Hankook Ventus V12 Evo 2 K120;
  • Exhaust – do a visual inspection and check for silencers that are “blowing”. Get an exhaust fitter to fix your system if it’s corroded;
  • Lights – ensure all exterior lights function as they should. Replace blown bulbs where necessary.

Pack an emergency kit in the car

It’s always a good idea to prepare yourself for emergencies on the road when you’re abroad. For a start, you should get a breakdown kit. They comprise of a warning triangle and reflective jackets. You should also take a small fire extinguisher and an LED torch with you.

Hazard Traingle

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Other essential items you should consider taking include:

  • Spare set of bulbs and fuses;
  • First Aid kit; and
  • Jump leads.

Take a breathalyser with you

In France, it’s the law to carry a breathalyser in the car with you. If you get pulled over and you can’t show that you’ve gone one, you could get fined.

The good news is that breathalysers are cheap to buy. You can get them from places like Halfords, EuroCarParts and online retailers like Amazon.

Take plenty of things to do for the kids

Children and long car journeys seldom mix. It’s important that you give them plenty of things to do on the journey so that you keep their minds occupied. Examples include offering them colouring-in books, iPads, books and MP3 players.

Make sure you’ve got a GB symbol on your car

When you go to another EU country, it’s essential you have a GB symbol on your vehicle. You can buy a sticker to put on your boot, for example. Or you could get “Euro” licence plates with the GB lettering on the left.

Both options are fine and legal whichever part of the EU you visit.


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