How to make your car ready for your holidays

June 10, 2020

Your holidays will start as soon as you get in your car. For many people, this year's holiday may look a little different because of the current situation. However, short day trips closer to home can also be fun. Another benefit is that you can use your own car to get where you need to be. Here's how you can get your car ready for the summer!

Many garages offer a holiday check, but you can easily do some technical checks yourself.

  1. Checking the tyre pressure is one example. Check the prescribed tyre pressure in your car's specifications, and inflate your tyres if necessary. If you're going to be travelling with a heavier load, you can even raise the pressure a bit.

  2. Unless you're driving an electric car, you should also check the engine oil level. You should do this when the engine is cold to ensure that all the oil is in the sump. If necessary, top up the oil to the maximum level and take a litre of oil with you when you hit the road just to be on the safe side.

  3. The same applies to coolant (again, not necessary for electric cars). Check that there is enough coolant in the reservoir before heading off, and top it up when the engine has cooled down. This is also true for the windscreen washer fluid and the wipers themselves, because good visibility is essential to ensure your safety.

  4. Also check the brake fluid level by taking a look at the brake fluid reservoir. If the brake fluid is below the minimum mark, it's important to top it up to the maximum.

  5. Air conditioning maintenance is something that is often forgotten. You can’t do this yourself, but it's important to check that the maintenance isn't scheduled during your holidays. It's a good idea to visit your garage before you set off.

  6. Before you leave, you should also check your car's lights: headlights, brake lights and indicators. Walk around your car to check all the lights.

 

What you should always have in your car

Besides the technical checks, it's also important to make sure you have the necessary documents and other mandatory items in your car. Such items include hi-vis vests, a warning triangle, a spare tyre (with the proper tread depth and tyre pressure), a first-aid kit, a fire extinguisher and a tow rope.

The documents you should always have in the car are the registration form, the car’s certificate of conformity and, of course, a valid insurance document. Before you set off, make sure to check whether your car insurance also includes roadside assistance.

And last but not least, we have a tip for electric drivers: plan your route well in advance based on where and when you want to charge your car. There are now plenty of apps that allow you to plan your journey easily and even reserve a charging station. The range of electric cars is increasing, but it does give you a reassuring feeling when you know you can drive home from the Ardennes or the coast on fully charged batteries.

So, where can you go?

Once your car is all set, all you need to do is plan where you're going. To get you started, LeasePlan has selected five exciting destinations in Belgium.

1. Kortrijk (West Flanders)

You can leave the real hotspots such as Bruges and Ghent be for a while and opt for a lesser-known Belgian city. With its contemporary buildings, Kortrijk is an architectural gem.

 

2. Meetjesland (East Flanders)

Escape to nature in Meetjesland, a region surrounding the town of Eeklo. The highlight is the creeks area in the far north of the region, which is a bit of a Belgian enclave in the Dutch region of Zeelandic Flanders. The best way to experience this special flat landscape is the walking network of Meetjesland creeks.

3. C-mine (Limburg)

All the projects at this site in Genk triumphantly reflect the history of mining. The highlight of your visit will undoubtedly be climbing the authentic headframe on C-Mine square.

4. BAM Mons (Hainaut)

Belgium always has a few overcast days in the summer, and they're the perfect time to head to a museum! Take a trip to BAM, the Museum of Fine Arts of Mons, where you'll be able to indulge in 5,000m2 of cultural exhibition space.

 

5. The artificial lakes of Eau d'Heure (Namur)

Feel like some fun in the sun by the waterside? Instead of heading out to the coast, explore one of the vast artificial lakes of Eau d’Heure. Did you know that the longest beaches in Belgium aren't actually on the coast, but in the southern province of Namur?

Going abroad after all?

If you're still going abroad this year, you should also follow our tips for getting the car ready for your holidays. What's more, be sure to check which rules apply in your country of destination and/or the countries you're travelling through to ensure that your holiday goes smoothly. For example, in many countries (such as France and Spain) you have to pay road tolls. It's usually easier and faster to buy a vignette so you don't have to queue to pay manually every time. Also bear in mind that there are more and more Low Emission Zones that also require you to have a special vignette.

Fill up and load up that car: we hope you have a great holiday!