Driving to Gatwick – pre journey checks for your car

With the focus on your holiday and your flight from Gatwick, it’s quite easy to forget about everyday essentials, such as making sure your car is in tip-top condition before you set off for the airport.

Ignoring regular car maintenance can prove costly, and a car breakdown on the way to the airport can result in delays and possibly a missed flight. To help you avoid car problems on the way to Gatwick, Help Me Park has put together a list of checks you should carry out on your car before you set off for the airport.

It’s advisable to check your car the day before travelling to the airport to ensure you have sufficient time to carry out any running repairs that may be required.

It goes without saying that you really should have your car serviced regularly – check your car manufacturer’s guidelines for recommended service intervals.

Check the tyre pressure and inflate the tyres if necessary. The recommended pressure for your tyres can be found in your handbook. Don’t forget to check your spare tyre too. Inspect the walls of your tyres for damage and make sure they have sufficient tread. Driving your vehicle without the minimum amount of tread is illegal and your meet and greet parking company will refuse to accept your car.

Check your car’s oil level when the car is on level ground and the engine is cool. Top up if required.

Check coolant level and top up if required with the correct coolant type for the time of year. Again make sure the engine is cool and your car is parked on level ground.

Clean your windscreen if necessary and top up your windscreen washer fluid levels. Check your windscreen wipers for damage and replace if necessary.

Fill up with fuel the day before setting out. It’s always advisable to have a full tank of fuel just in case your journey is extended because of diversions or you are stuck in traffic for some time. You are likely to require fuel on your journey home, so topping up before your holiday should mean there’s no need to stop on the way home.

Car lights
Checking your lights should be a regular weekly job, however, it is one job we often forget about. Check your lights and replace any bulbs required. Driving with broken lights is dangerous and could also result in you to being stopped by the police – a delay you could definitely do without when you’ve got a plane to catch.

Breakdown cover
Although breakdown cover is something we would rather never have to use, do ensure that your policy is valid for your entire holiday. In the event of a breakdown you will have backup and hopefully be on your way quickly with enough time to catch your flight.

In the unfortunate event of a breakdown on the motorway don’t wait in your car. Get out of your vehicle and wait a safe distance away from the road, behind the crash barrier. For more tips about dealing with breakdowns check out the AA’s website 

Mobile phone battery
Ok, so this has nothing to do with your car, but do ensure that your mobile phone has a full battery and sufficient credit for use in the event of a breakdown.

Although car breakdowns can happen, even in new cars, the above steps should help you minimise the risk and arrive at the airport in plenty of time to get your flight.