How to prolong the life of your clutch
We hope you’re enjoying your new-found freedom as a driver. Being the proud owner of a driver’s licence opens up so many new possibilities for you.
Jan 7, 2022
Dec 2, 2021
Long journeys can be a lot of fun, especially if you’ve done a little planning beforehand.
Planning is a good idea for various reasons. Knowing your route will mean you can concentrate on your driving, rather than stressing about finding the right road.
Forward-planning also means you can check on roadworks or congestion and select an alternative route if necessary. Better that, than taking risks to make up the lost time and having an accident – especially if you’re a new or young driver.
No matter how long your journey is going to be, safe, responsible driving can have a positive impact on your young driver insurance premiums. Just visit Smartdriverclub today for a quote.
Here are some top tips for planning a stress-free, long-haul road trip.
There are some excellent websites that will show you the current state of roadworks, and likelihood of congestion, on the UK’s road network. Some feature route planners with up-to-date traffic information: you can zoom into the map and find the state of traffic and roadworks on your chosen routes, or simply input your start and end points and let the site work out the quickest route for you.
You can even set these routes to avoid motorways or toll roads, and also to provide you with an alternative route if you do run into problems. Google Maps is an excellent option here. Just download the app onto your smartphone.
Planning your route can also make your journey more fuel-efficient, ultimately saving you money as well as being a greener option. If you’ve planned the route in advance, you will be taking the quickest, shortest route, using less fuel in doing so. You’re also likely to avoid the worst areas of congestion – again, a good idea, as constant stop-starting is not good for fuel efficiency.
Lastly, and crucially, planning your route before you go will mean that you’re in control of the journey. Avoid stress and worry while driving, as these are the states of mind where you are most likely to take risks, and where accidents are most likely to happen.
Leaving enough time and knowing exactly where you’re going will make you more composed and ultimately a safer driver. That brings obvious benefits – one of which could be reduced young driver insurance premiums.
It’s a good idea to allow a little extra time for the journey, just in case of any unforeseen delays. This is particularly important if you need to be at your destination at a certain time – for a wedding or job interview, or to catch a flight. If you’ve only allowed yourself the time that your route planner has allocated you, and not factored in the unexpected, these delays will spark your anxiety and increase your chances of taking risks.
You do have alternatives to the online route planner. For example, many modern cars come equipped with sat navs. They do have the obvious advantage of displaying the information right in front of you on your car’s infotainment screen, thus avoiding the need to take your eyes off the road to look at a map, phone or printed instructions; and they also adapt as you drive, so the instructions are always the next ones you need.
Sat navs can also be useful for reminding you of the varying speed limits along your route – and they should also have a feature that indicates nearby service stations. This is very useful for those moments when you’re either running low on fuel or need a break from driving. And if you do run out of fuel, we’ve got some advice that could help.
Learn how to find this service station feature on your sat nav before you set out – you don’t want to be fiddling fruitlessly with the controls while driving.
Be aware, though, that sat navs aren’t always totally reliable and if they’re not fully up to date, road routes may have changed. If you do use a sat nav, it’s worth programming the route in advance, so you are not having to make adjustments behind the wheel.
If all else fails, you could turn to the good old fashioned map. Obviously this option works best if you have a friend or relative in the car who can take on map-reading duties while you concentrate on the road. If you’re alone, make sure you pull over somewhere safe before trying to read it – and we don’t mean on the hard shoulder!
When will you be travelling? At peak rush hour? In that case, think carefully about your possible routes. One might be preferable to another. For example, late at night, motorways might be your best option for a smooth, hassle-free journey. But during the day, stationary traffic on motorways could mean that taking more rural routes will get you to your destination much quicker.
If you’re going to be driving any sort of vehicle that might be affected by high winds – if you’re towing a caravan, for example – you may want to look at a route that avoids any exposed roads during windy weather.
And do make sure that any route you choose looks suitable for your own capabilities and confidence as a driver. For example, if a route involves a lot of inner-city driving and you’re not comfortable with that yet, you may want to find alternative routes for these urban sections.
So, you’ve checked the maps and route planners and worked out your route. That part of your trip planning is done. But what about your vehicle? How do you get it ready for a long journey? After all, unforeseen occurrences like a flat tyre or a breakdown could add a whole lot of unwanted stress and delay to your trip.
You should check the following features in your car:
Here are some other essential items that you should take on your longer road trip.
So there you have it: some useful tips to help ensure a stress-free, enjoyable road trip. The temptation is to just get in the car and hit the road – but including some of these simple preparations could be the difference between an easy journey and one that’s time consuming, stressful and, potentially, expensive.
Young driver insurance from Smartdriverclub can help to reduce the cost of motoring.
Our Smartplug fits discreetly into your car and records things like how smoothly you brake and accelerate and how often you drive at night.
Prove that you’re a careful driver, and you could see your premiums fall when it comes to renewal.
With breakdown cover and personal accident cover also available, some specialist young driver insurance could be another essential part of your road-trip toolkit.
Contact us today to find out more about young driver insurance.