Whether you’re going on a driving holiday or just using your car to get to your destination, you won’t want it to let you down. There are regular checks you should be carrying out on your vehicle anyway but you definitely don’t want to break down. Especially not in a foreign land or stranded at the roadside where you could be vulnerable. Below are 10 main things to check that you may have overlooked:


1. Oil and water

Modern cars don’t tend to overheat too much, but that means you’re unlikely to have checked your car’s oil and radiator water levels, understandable. Before you check the levels, ensure that the car is parked on a flat surface and that the engine has been off for at least an hour beforehand.

2. Brake and windscreen washer fluids

With the bonnet open, check that both brake and washer fluid reservoirs are adequately filled up to the maximum markers. If you find yourself having to replenish any of these liquids on a regular basis, it points to the presence of a leak and should be looked at by a mechanic as soon as possible.

3. Are any light bulbs blown?

Ensure that all the lights are functioning optimally, including front and rear headlights, side markers, brake and hazard signals as well as all four turn-signal indicators and the light above the license plate. It’s compulsory to carry spare bulbs with you if you’re travelling through France and some other European countries, so check the rules in advance to make sure you comply.

4. Are lights and number plates clean?

Pretty self-explanatory but nowadays almost all number plate recognition is automated so you need to make sure its clear and visible for them. Otherwise you may fall foul of local laws abroad. Also make sure there are no cracks in the number plate.

5. Wiper blades

Driving through a thunderstorm or a blizzard abroad may not be the best time to test the wiper blades. Take a look in advance and make sure they are functioning and in good condition, no cracks or brittle.

6. Have a clear-out

Carrying extra weight increases fuel consumption as well as reduce space for luggage or souvenirs for grandma, so take only what you need.

7. Make sure you’ve got cover

Ensure your car’s breakdown policy is up-to-date and properly covers you during any international trips. Sure, some policies may limit the days of coverage overseas or in certain countries, but it still pays to check if yours will provide sufficient protection for your needs.

8. Wheels and tyres

Examine the four wheels and sidewalls of your car’s tyres for any possible harm. Bulges, cracks, or cuts in the tyre walls could cause a puncture. Next, make sure the tyre tread depth is above the legal limit of 1.6mm. If your tyres have tread-depth indicators, check that the tread hasn’t worn down to the level of the indicator. It’s also important to check the tyres are set to the correct pressure. If they’re over or under-inflated, it will affect the way the car handles and its fuel economy.

9. Do you have the right equipment?

If you’re venturing abroad, you’ll need to make sure you have all the equipment required to drive through each country. Rules vary between countries, so check before you head off.

In France, for example, you’ll need a reflective jacket for each traveller, a warning triangle, headlight beam deflector stickers, two breathalysers (you’ll need a spare one if you get stopped and are asked to do a breath test) and a GB sticker or Euro registration plates with GB on them.

10. Fill your tank

Finally, fill up your tank, you definitely need that! If you are feeling super cautious you could also fill up a gerry can, however, it would be worth checking the rules when driving abroad on this front.

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    RT Mechanics
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    Alex NolanAlex Nolan
    11:44 06 Apr 24
    I had a problem with my wipers and after another local garage failed to permanently resolve the problem, I went to RT Mechanics having seen they were a Seat specialist. They identified a broken wire and incorrect motor fitted, and replaced it with OEM parts. They quoted me for replacement of the motor and linkage before finding the broken wire, however the final cost was not far off the quote. More expensive than other garages in the area, but I am happy that my wipers are fully functional again! (And hopefully stay that way.)
    adam minchinadam minchin
    08:36 12 Mar 24
    I don't normally leave reviews but felt impelled to share my experience. My car went in for a wheel bearing replacement and I have to say it was an amazing experience. My car was collected, repaired and delivered all in one day and the job has transformed it. The communication beforehand was great and the price didn't break the bank. Thank you guys and I will definitely be using RT mechanics again.
    Terry LoringTerry Loring
    13:25 27 Jan 24
    What an organisation....I am very particular about our cars but so too is Russ and his team! Absolutely excellent.........keep up the good work!
    Matthew BoydMatthew Boyd
    14:14 10 Jan 24
    I agree below - so expensive and employees all seem a bit cocky (for some reason). Twice I haven't heard back from them asking for a quote. Hard to find a trustworthy, or even a reasonably affordable garage in Haslemere.
    Tŵm HTŵm H
    18:43 27 Nov 23
    Whoever says competitive price is lying, this garage is made up of cowboys, once sent my car there and was given a massive list of items that “HAD” to be done, costing me total £4000, and they said my breaks were so bad they couldn’t with good conscious let me have the car back so I got them to do the break pads for about £300. Thinking this sounded a little dodgy, I took it to a trusted Mercedes garage where I used to live, they said most of the jobs on the list were not necessary and it would cost £1200, plus the break job that RT did was only half done!Please shop around first and get quotes, they may be convenient for some, but it didn’t cost me £2800 to return to my original garage.
    Andrew MinorAndrew Minor
    11:29 31 Oct 23
    chris matechris mate
    18:33 04 Oct 23
    Went in to borrow a tool and they were so friendly and helped and didnt want any money im sure based on the previous reviews this is a great place!!
    Sarah FitzgeraldSarah Fitzgerald
    15:11 29 Jul 23
    Glen LewisGlen Lewis
    05:16 27 Jul 23
    The Wet Hill team were very friendly and professional throughout, and the work carried out was very efficient. Will use again
    Jane DevlinJane Devlin
    06:59 20 Jul 23
    Juliet AuburnJuliet Auburn
    15:21 06 Jun 23
    Mike was so helpful when I got a nail in my tyre. He went out of his way to work around the difficulties of not being able to do without a car for 24 hours whilst waiting for a replacement tyre to be delivered. I’ve now booked an MOT with them and intend to stay with them rather than continue to use the local car dealership.Thank you Mike!
    11:20 03 Jun 23
    chris harrisonchris harrison
    14:11 15 Mar 23
    Very good local and independently run garage who perform work to a high standard using OEM parts. One thing to bare in mind is that they aren’t cheap - quoted slightly more than the dealer in my case £75 more than ŠKODA) but they did price match to their credit.
    Clare KingswellClare Kingswell
    13:01 16 Feb 23
    Always friendly, nothing too much bother and good prices, i had pothole damage to my tyre and RT Mechanics had a new 1 fitted and checked for other damaged and checked the senors all within 24hrs. A great reliable garage A+
    Lee MurphyLee Murphy
    21:36 15 Feb 23
    First time using RT Mechanics to fix an issue with my partners Audi, service is first class and prices very reasonable, found them very knowledgeable and provided a quick turnaround, would definitely use them again.
    Felicity WilliamsFelicity Williams
    06:51 28 Nov 22
    Very helpful with necessary car maintenance. Quoted me a price but then it was half that as required less work ...very honest !! Will definitely use again. Also got us in quickly.
    Nick HindsNick Hinds
    15:13 14 Nov 22
    We have used RT Mechanics for many years and their service has been excellent. They are good at explaining any issues and repairs and will go out of their way to help. I have recommended RT Mechanics to many friends over the years. Thanks Russell and Team!
    James KennedyJames Kennedy
    14:37 26 Sep 22
    Excellent work on Audi, VW, Volvo and Land Rover for me over the last 6+ years. Always reliable service, sensible approach to what needs to be done, everything quoted accurately and delivered professionally. Highly recommended.
    Paula DayPaula Day
    05:57 24 Jun 22
    Excellent service, very professional and friendly staff. ?
    David WindellDavid Windell
    12:22 03 Dec 21
    I drove half an hour to reach RT Mechanics after reading high praise on Volvo online forums. You will not be disappointed - finally a garage that responds to email communication and keeps you regularly informed. They even valeted my car before collection!
    P DavisP Davis
    14:00 25 Mar 21
    Service- very professional. Really helpful that they pick up and drop off. And so grateful that they cleaned my car.
    Robbie StewartRobbie Stewart
    16:51 12 Feb 21
    Russ and Dan are brilliant to deal with , after using various garages fell across this little gem and wouldn’t take my car anywhere else, fully recommend. 5 star from me ?
    Lee KirtonLee Kirton
    12:50 06 Jan 21
    Great team of people, always on time and their work is fantastic. Been servicing and keeping my cars running for years now. Highly recommend!
    Demetris KoulourisDemetris Koulouris
    13:23 16 Jul 19
    Trust this garage to take care your car. Top nudge

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