Going away? Here are some tips for looking after your car while it’s not being driven.

Many people decide to travel for extended periods of 3 months or more.  Here are a few tips to consider before you go away!

  1. Pump your car tyres up to their maximum pressure – this keeps the tyres in good shape and avoids flat spots which may occur after a long time standing
  2. Chock your wheels and leave your handbrake off – almost all handbrakes are cable operated and if you leave the handbrake on for a long time you can actually cause this cable to stretch and become inoperative. Timber or automotive wheel chocks are the safest method.
  3. Try to leave your car petrol tank empty in a petrol vehicle. Petrol becomes “stale” within a couple of weeks due to evaporation and the additives breaking down over time. This would cause the fuel to have less power and cause dramatic increases in fuel consumption when you return. Leaving it close to empty will ensure that when you get back home you can fill it up with fresh fuel.
  4. Fill car diesel tanks up to the brim. Diesel has been designed to last a very long time. Whilst it will not last forever, 6 months is not too much to ask from a tank of diesel. Diesel however can be negatively affected by water in the system, caused by excess air and condensation in the tank.
  5. Keep your battery on charge with a high quality battery maintenance charger. Car batteries are designed to discharge and be recharged regularly and when a battery goes flat it may never reach its full potential again. Idling the vehicle for 30 minutes a week is not enough to care for the battery.
  6. Wax and polish the vehicle prior to leaving – Wax is designed to prevent dust sticking to the vehicle and also replenishes the paintwork. By doing this prior to leaving and then covering the vehicle you are doing the best for your car. It’s also nice to come back to a sparkling clean car!
  7. Store your car keys in a safe and secure place to prevent car theft in an event of a break in.


For more tips before you go away give our Motoring Advice team a call for free motoring advice exclusive to RAC Members, call 13 17 03 between 9am and 4pm Monday to Friday or complete an online motoring advice form. If you have any tips why not write them in the comments below.