Travelling for the holidays? Well, with just three weeks to go before the big December holiday rush, make sure you don’t find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere. Take note of these eight tips from Richard Green, Director of the South African Motor Body Repairers’ Association (SAMBRA), a proud association of the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI).
- Start off by ensuring you have done all pre-holiday checks on your car first so there are no unexpected surprises on route. Associations like the RMI’s Vehicle Testing Association (VTA) are in fact offering free holiday checks between the 4 and 14 December at participating testing stations around the country. The test will cover everything from suspension to the steering mechanism, tyres, lights, wipers, brakes, exhaust and seat belts.
- Know your route - Google the route you intend travelling and the distances between towns before you leave. This way you can plan your fuel usage and stop at familiar places for a top up. If you are driving on a golden oldie route check if the service stations on route have workshops.
- Download the RMIConnect App which is available on Play and Apples Stores. This will assist you in finding an accredited service supplier in the category of service required closest to you via GPS. It provides the full contact and address details.
- Have your insurer’s and selling motor dealer’s phone numbers handy. Your dealer and your insurer will have sold you salvage services within your sale/insurance contract and they have service providers in almost every small town around the country.
- Check that your spare wheel is there and is properly inflated. The same applies to your jack.
- Spare keys? Where are they – if they are not with you make sure they are readily available.
- If you intend going off the beaten track pack some “I won’t need that” stuff. Some cable ties, a rope, battery charger cables, water, a spare fan belt, etc, would be worth considering.
- Have all emergency numbers handy specifically Police: 10111, Ambulance: 10177 and emergency services - Emer-G-Med: 0861007911/Netcare 911: 082 911/ER24: 084 124
“Remember that the holiday season is also the time when opportunistic criminals take chances. Make sure your car’s locking system works, that your bags containing valuables are hidden and if necessary, carry these bags with you when getting out of the car for a break. Also remember your journey is a destination, not a race – so here’s to a safe holiday drive,” says Green.