Prepare for safe and smooth holiday travel with tips from WesBank

With school holidays and the Easter weekend fast approaching, many families and travelers are gearing up for road trips to explore the beauty of South Africa and spend quality family time together. To ensure a hassle-free and enjoyable journey, WesBank offers essential tips for preparing your vehicle and paperwork before hitting the road.

Lebo Gaoaketse, Head of Marketing and Communication at WesBank, emphasises the importance of proper planning to avoid potential disruptions during your holiday travels. "Advice on staying safe on the road might seem like an exercise in stating the obvious, but the consistently high number of vehicle crashes during peak travel times, including the Easter holidays, justifies a relentless and deliberate focus on road safety at this time of the year,” says Gaoaketse.

“As the leading provider of vehicle and asset finance solutions in South Africa, WesBank views in serious light the need to empower motorists with the information they need to ensure the safety of all road users,” he says.

Gaoaketse stresses the importance of vehicle maintenance and safety during holiday travel. "As roads become congested with holiday traffic, it's crucial for drivers to prioritise safety and ensure their vehicles are roadworthy."

Here are some pre-holiday vehicle checks recommended by WesBank:

  • Tyres: Check tyre pressures and tread depth, ensuring they meet manufacturer specifications and are suitable for heavy loads.
  • Lights: Ensure all lights are functioning correctly, including headlights, taillights, brake lights, and indicators.
  • Brakes: Inspect brake pads for wear and signs of disc warping, addressing any issues promptly.
  • Battery: Have the battery tested for optimal performance to prevent unexpected breakdowns.
  • Wipers: Replace worn wiper blades to maintain visibility during adverse weather conditions.
  • Fluids: Check fluid levels, including coolant, power steering, and brake fluid, to prevent overheating and mechanical issues.

 “With all the vehicle safety checks done, overlooking essential administrative tasks can also quickly turn your vacation into a frustrating experience," says Gaoaketse.

Crossing borders requires meticulous preparation, particularly in light of the South African government's enforcement of documentation requirements to prevent vehicle theft. Whether your vehicle is financed or fully paid off, it's crucial to ensure compliance with the law and your insurance policy.

Before embarking on a cross-border journey, motorists should:

  • Verify that their comprehensive insurance policies cover cross-border travel and update any necessary details to avoid claim repudiation.
  • Obtain a certified copy of the vehicle's registration papers, which is mandatory for all cross-border travel.
  • Seek permission from the financing bank for financed vehicles. WesBank customers can use WesBank's online self-service portal for convenient access to border letters and registration documents.
  • Additionally, drivers using vehicles registered under another individual's name or rented vehicles must secure additional documentation, including a police affidavit and consent letters.

Once vehicle checks are complete and all the necessary paperwork is in place, remember to pack essential items such as swimming gear, sunblock, and a power bank. Stay hydrated and take regular breaks to combat driver fatigue, especially during long trips.