The half-term get-away is upon us and that means many families will be hitting the road to get to their holiday destinations.
A new study out today has revealed that a total of 18.4 million motorists in Britain will be bringing their vehicles on holiday this year. The research found that 16.5 million motorists will get behind the wheel of their car for a British break, while 3.6 million drivers will take their set-of-wheels across the English Channel for a trip on the continent.
Those roving on a road tour in the United Kingdom this year anticipate munching an average of 1,184 miles, while those taking their car out of the country reckon they’ll do up to 1,671 miles on their expedition. While all drivers will want these miles to be hassle-free, there could be issues on the road ahead for many motorists.
Around four and a half million drivers (4,475,000) have experienced vehicle trouble while on leave in the last half decade, accounting for over one in eight drivers. However, the study by Kwik Fit, shows that despite this experience, many motorists are still forgetting to make some of the most rudimentary checks before they set off on their tours.
Car problems can lead to more than monetary or roadside glitches, they can have a severe effect on folks’ relationships. 920,000 motorists claim a vehicle breakdown led to a quarrel with somebody in their motor and then not talking to each other for an hour, while for 472,000 drivers the reticence lasted over a day. Even more severe, however, was the blow on the 687,000 car users who say a breakdown triggered a spat with their partner which led to them going their separate ways.
It would seem that some drivers are not taking note of the lessons of experience. Only 52% of those motorists who have had car trouble on a prior holiday inspect their tyre pressures before they drive off, with the same percentage examining their car’s screen wash levels. Under half of car drivers (47%) look at their oil level and 44% of them check their lights are functioning. Regardless of the prospect of ticking over in holiday traffic with the engine cooking, only 39% of drivers check their car’s coolant levels.
The research discovered that many of those motorists roaming abroad are doing so without making some essential checks, and could find themselves in contravention of continental regulations. Only 44% of car users heading out of the country in their car check their insurance status. As the majority of car insurance policies don’t incorporate European cover as standard, these motorists could find themselves without insurance cover.
Furthermore, under a third (31%) of car drivers travelling to the continent ensure that they have a warning triangle in their vehicle. If they drive without one, they lay themselves bare to an on the spot penalty from many foreign police departments, as it is obligatory to carry one in the car in the event of a breakdown.
Tim Barnes-Clay, Perrys’ motoring journalist, commented: “The discoveries of this study are pretty worrying – in spite of many drivers having faced car hitches on holiday, the number making some of the easiest checks before they drive off is much too low. At Perrys, we would urge all motorists embarking on a trek of any distance, and especially one that will last thousands of miles on unfamiliar roads, to go through a checklist before they set off. As the research has revealed, a breakdown can be emotionally destructive as well as giving motorists economic issues.”