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Driving home for Christmas? Here’s the essential checklist to prepare for it

Author: Tina Playle
Created On: Updated On:

Driving home for Christmas this year? If you’re planning to drive long distance, then there are some essential checks to do before you set off to prevent any chances of breaking down once you’re on your way.

Here at Safely Insured, this advice goes for all of our customers! Including young drivers, car enthusiasts, anyone! These are basic vehicle checks that anyone who owns a car should know of.

Not only are they good to check before a long journey, but if you do these checks on a regular basis, it may lessen problems with your car further down the line.

Driving home for Christmas – The checklist for your car

Fluid levels

Before your trip, make sure to do a few checks underneath the bonnet. This includes checking your oil, brake fluid, washer fluid and antifreeze levels.

To check your oil, you need to locate the dipstick (long stick with usually a yellow ‘O’ for a handle). Remove it, and clean it with a cloth and push it all the way in, take it out and see if the oil is somewhere between the two marks on the dipstick. If not, top it up!

To check the brake fluid, screen wash and anti-freeze levels, just locate the reservoirs for each one and make sure they are in between the minimum and maximum levels (closer to the maximum is ideal).

Always wait for the engine to cool down before checking levels or refilling fluids under the bonnet.


Another essential check is a tyre inspection. Do a quick all-round inspection to make sure there’s no punctures, the tread depth is above the requirement of 1.6mm and that the tyres are pumped to the correct pressure.


As the winter evenings are shrouded in darkness before 5pm now, it’s essential you check that all your lights are in good working condition before setting off.


It goes without saying that you should always make sure your car has enough fuel for the journey ahead!

The checklist for you


Driving whilst tired is one of the most dangerous things you can do. So, if you have a long journey ahead, make sure you’ve had something to eat and a good nights sleep beforehand.

If you’re making a really long journey, make sure you take a break every hour and a half or so.


During the holidays, traffic can be unpredictable, so always make sure to double check your route before setting off.  If you’re using a sat-nav, always set the destination before driving.

A woman sorting out her Sat Nav wearing a large winter coat

Always programme your sat-nav before your journey.

A good driving playlist or podcast

If you’re driving solo, make sure you choose a playlist that keeps you alert and engaged. It’s much easier to zone out when you’re making a journey on your own.


Of course, it’s Christmas time, so make sure you don’t forget the presents!

If we do the checks above, it’ll may save us hassle further down the line!

But the most important thing is to drive safe and enjoy your Christmas!

Temporary car insurance for the Christmas period

Want to give public transport a miss this year? You can get temporary car insurance cover to drive home for Christmas.

Temporary Car Insurance is simple and easy to purchase. It enables you to go about your everyday life, without the interruption of the ‘designated driver’. We’ve put together some of the key points some of our policies offer:

  • Cover for drivers aged between 19-75
  • Comprehensive cover from 1-28 days
  • Short-term Learner Drivers cover for those aged 17+
  • Obtain a quote within 5 questions
  • Obtain instant online cover (once completed the purchase process)

We’ve gathered all the information you’ll need for a quote on our comparison tool. Visit our Temporary Car Insurance page for further details.*

*Please note: these types of Temporary Car Insurance policies do not offer cover for modified cars.