As millions of us plan to travel by car this Easter weekend, The RAC has predicted that traffic will be the busiest in years as over 20 million motorists get out over the holiday period – with many making their first long distance trip following this year’s unusually long, cold winter.
According to the RAC, Thursday, March 24th will see the start of the holiday get away as traffic volumes build through the afternoon. Traffic volumes will remain high across Good Friday and Saturday.
Easter Sunday is expected to be one of the quietest days of the year. Easter Monday will see volumes increase during the afternoon and early evening and Tuesday will be busy as people return to work or from trips away.
As with any bank holiday, the weather will have a considerable bearing on people’s plans. Prakesh Patel, RAC patrol ambassador of the year, says:
“We advise motorists to plan ahead to get their holiday off to a good start. Allowing extra time for your journey and planning your route carefully can help take the stress out of your trip.”
RAC expects to be busy with breakdown call outs over the weekend as this will be the first time that many people will have taken their cars on longer journeys since the winter period and nearly one in three people surveyed said they will not be making any maintenance checks on their vehicles before travelling. Holiday makers will, on average, travel more than 90 miles to their destination over the break.
My Car Credit offer our top 8 tips to make your journey as simple and safe as possible.
Check weather reports
Before you set off for your journey, make sure you check the weather forecast, so you are prepared for all eventualities. If rain is predicted, you may want to add a few more minutes to your expected journey time.
Find the cheapest fuel
Driving in stop start conditions uses more fuel. A website called Petrolprices.com allows you to find the cheapest petrol and diesel in your area by simply entering your postcode. Remember, a few pence per litre difference soon adds up.
Test your tyre pressures
Keep tyres properly inflated to the recommended tyre pressure. This alone can reduce the average amount of fuel use by 3-4 percent. Under-inflated tyres increase rolling resistance and reduce fuel economy.
Check oil and water levels
Another quick maintenance duty you can easily perform at home is checking your oil filter. Cars require the oil to be changed regularly. Also check the water level – the reservoir should be clearly visible at the side of the engine – and top-up your screen wash.
Travel outside peak times
Consider leaving early in the morning – or the night before – to avoid the worst of the traffic. Roads that get particularly busy on Bank Holidays include the M5, M6, M8 and M25, Glasgow’s A19, London’s Blackwall Tunnel (A2) and the A303. Listen out for traffic reports on the radio.
Take regular breaks
When you are mapping out your journey, make sure you take a look to see where you can fit breaks in. It is important to ensure you have around a 15 minute break every two hours so you feel more refreshed and alert whilst driving.
Park cheaply and avoid tickets
Parking can be stressful and expensive. Research has shown that council-run car parks are usually cheaper than private car parks (e.g. NCP) and on-street parking. However, this isn’t always the case, so check local council websites and the Parkopedia website for prices.