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In many cases, the end of the year gives you time to step back and take stock of the last 12 months. This is when many of us take a hard look at what worked and what did not, complete performance reviews, and formulate plans for the coming year. For me, it is all of those things plus a time when I u...
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Preparing Your Car for Long Journeys

LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM -- (Marketwire) -- 02/06/13 -- Breakdown cover could help those planning a long journey this winter.

Although The Met Office has made forecasts that the UK will be hit with band of rain, sleet and snow this winter(i), research shows that 29% of drivers still fail to prepare their vehicles for winter(ii). Preparing your vehicle for long trips is simple and straightforward and might help to reduce the risk of breaking down.

Asda Money helps motorists prepare their vehicle for long journeys with a few hints and tips.

Oil

One way that motorists can prepare their vehicle for a long journey is by checking the engine oil. This is a simple and effective way to help prevent overheating or engine failure in the long term. Too much or too little oil could damage the engine and prevent it from working. Asda Money research shows that, worryingly, 20% of motorists only check their oil when they remember(iii). It would be advisable to check your vehicle's oil to check that levels are correct before you head off on your journey - this will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer (iii).

Tyres

Ensuring that your tyres are safe for the road is one of the most important long journey preparations a motorist should make. The tyre tread depth should meet the minimum legal requirement of 1.6mm, as bald tyres are not road worthy and could result in a fine or points on your license. It may also be advisable to check the tyre pressures. The wrong pressure can affect steering and braking. If tyres are underinflated they could wear down quicker and be at a higher risk of damage.

Tyres should have a minimum tread depth of 3mm, and a gauge should be used to check that they are at the right pressure - again this will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. In addition, tyres should be free from cracks, buckles or bulges(iv).

Lights

All lights must be in fully working order, clean and clear as faulty lights put others at risk and in danger. One easy way to check if the lights are in working order is to ask a friend to check headlights, hazards, indicators whilst you remain parked in the vehicle.

Prepare yourself

Motorists can spend time preparing their vehicles for long journeys; however they might need to prepare themselves as well.

For example, ensure that you are well rested before you drive, this way you can be fully alert and focused for the journey ahead. It is also advisable to create an emergency car kit in case of breakdown.

This could include food, clothing, a torch, de-icer and window scrapers. Asda Money research shows that the majority of motorists keep blankets, water and de-icer in their vehicle to prepare for a 'rainy day'(ii).

It would also be advisable to take out breakdown cover as extra protection whilst travelling.

Notes to editors

(i) Source: Highways Agency Press Release (January 2013) http://www.highways.gov.uk/news/press-releases/highways-agency-weather-warning-for-monday-and-tuesday/

(ii) Source: Highways Agency Press Release (Nov 2012) http://www.highways.gov.uk/news/press-releases/drivers-in-the-east-midlands-urged-to-be-ready-for-winter/

(iii) Source: Asda Insurance Research (Nov 2011), 20.35% of people check their engine oil level using a dipstick only when they remember.

(iv) Source: Brake Advice (August 2012) http://www.brake.org.uk/latest-news/230812.htm.

About Asda Breakdown Cover


--  77% of cars fixed at the roadside(i) 
--  Average response time under 42 minutes^ 
--  98% of customers satisfied with our service+ 
--  Cheaper than the AA & RAC(ii) 
--  Pay annually and save GBP 20 on UK breakdown and European cover  

(i) Fix rate of 77.4% taken from 66,170 returned agent invoices between 01 January and 31 August 2012.

^ Response time of 41.3 minutes taken from 42,096 customer questionnaires during 1 January to 31 August 2012

+ Customer satisfaction of 98.4% taken from 42,096 customer questionnaires during 1 January to 31 August 2012

(ii) Based on Asda UK Breakdown Cover compared to the nearest equivalent level of cover from the AA and RAC. Competitor's prices include discount available on 05/09/12 (online and call centre). Prices quoted are for annual payment only and relate to vehicle only cover and not personal cover.

Asda Money is a trading name of Asda Financial Services Limited. Asda Financial Services Limited uses a selection of companies to provide its products and services. Asda Financial Services Limited and Asda Stores Limited act as Introducer Appointed Representatives to Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited for Breakdown Cover. Britannia and Britannia Rescue are registered trademarks and are trading styles of the Liverpool Victoria group of companies. Liverpool Victoria Insurance Company Limited, registered in England and Wales number 3232514 is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, register number 202965. Registered address for all Liverpool Victoria companies: County Gates, Bournemouth BH1 2NF.

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