Prudent Staycationers Plan Pre-holiday Vehicle Health Checks

60% of motorists plan a late 2021 staycation in their own or company vehicle and almost half will turn to a professional technician to ensure it is road-trip ready

The latest survey[1] by Venson Automotive Solutions reveals that 60% of motorists are planning a staycation in the UK before the end of 2021, using their privately owned or company car. Almost half of these drivers (45%) plan to book their car in for a service, MOT or general health check before their departure, to ensure the vehicle is road-trip ready. Just 15% of respondents (21% of women and 10% of men) plan to carry out a DIY health check.

“With international travel restrictions still subject to last minute changes, many Brits are planning to avoid the potential disappointment of a cancelled holiday abroad by staying on UK soil throughout 2021,” commented Alison Bell, Marketing Director of Venson Automotive Solutions. “Most staycationers will use their own vehicle, whether privately owned or a company car, and they want to be sure the car is ready for the journey. So, the advice to staycationers is to book service and MOT appointments well in advance to ensure they have their vehicle seen before they travel.”

Of the survey respondents who said they will not be using their vehicle for a staycation, 45% said they won’t be going on holiday at all, 16% plan to use public transport, 9% will hire a car and 4% will borrow a car from a friend or member of family. 1 in 10 of those not taking their vehicle on a staycation said it was because they drive a company car and their employer wouldn’t allow them to use the vehicle in this way.

The motor industry has faced a multitude of challenges since the start of the pandemic, from its complete overnight shutdown during the first lockdown, to strict restrictions around reopening, followed by the ongoing shortage of spare parts and new vehicles.

Alison continued: “Following the 2020 MOT extension, more vehicles than ever are due to have their annual MOT in September, now dubbed by workshops and garages across the country as ‘Super September’. This means some drivers will struggle to book in their car before the renewal date. When motorists do get their car seen, the nationwide shortage of parts could mean there’s a delay for any work to be carried out, in turn delaying when the car can get back on the road.”

For drivers who don’t need an MOT before their staycation but are looking for reassurance that their vehicle is fit the journey ahead, there are some simple DIY checks they can do at home to identify and solve any potential issues and reduce the chances of a breakdown spoiling their UK break.

Venson’s staycation car checks

Must do vehicle health checks:

  • Oil level
  • Screen wash level and wiper condition
  • All lights – headlights and rear lights, brake and fog lights, those illuminating the registration plates and all indicator bulbs must be fully functioning
  • Tyre condition and tread depth – look for cracks and bulges, and check tread on every tyre is a minimum of 1.3mm deep – or the recommended 3mm in winter
  • Fuel level
  • Tyre pressure.

Other checks and maintenance:

  • Engine coolant – mainly for older cars without sealed units, but double check the level is correct
  • Battery – check terminals are clean and connections are tight
  • Engine air filter – should be replaced at regular intervals, check your manual and service history
  • Spark plugs – need replacing every 30,000 miles and can be replaced at home if you have the right tools.

And finally:

  • Emergency supplies – always keep an emergency kit inside the vehicle, and make sure it isn’t buried under the suitcases or camping equipment so you can’t find it when you need it. As a minimum you should include a blanket, torch, first aid kit, jump leads and a warning triangle, but you may also want to include snacks and extra drinking water as well as anything else that may be useful in an emergency, breakdown or long delays on a journey.

[1] Gorkana Survey conducted on the 11th August 2021 to 300 drivers