Holiday checklist: getting your vehicle ready before you hit the road

It’s that time of the year when you get to say goodbye to the office and traffic, get your spouse and kids, and head off on a well-deserved holiday. The South African festive season sees hundreds of thousands of vehicles hitting the road to the coast or family and friends across the country. While we all want to get going as soon as possible, your safety and the safety of those travelling with you needs to be a top priority. Creating a comprehensive holiday checklist ensures that you not only protect yourself and your passengers, but also other road users. Here’s what’s on our handy holiday checklist to get you ready for the long road:  

Tyre quality

When you think about the fact that the part of each tyre that touches the road is more or less the size of a palm (four palms per regular passenger vehicle), you’ll see why the importance of proper tyre checks is crucial. Poor tyre maintenance is also one of the main causes of accidents, especially among holiday goers. While you might have brand new tyres fitted before your journey, there’s no preventing them from being damaged along the route. Ensuring that you have full-sized spare tyre can be a true lifesaver in the case of an emergency. Waiting alongside the road for assistance with a fully loaded vehicle is not only dangerous, but also causes stress and frustration for you and those travelling with you.

Recently serviced engine

Ensuring that your vehicle is serviced, or having all of the crucial parts of your engine checked before going on a long journey is crucial to safely reaching your destination. If your car isn’t due for a service shortly before you go on holiday, have a qualified technician check up on the parts that are subject to the most wear and tear like your fan belt, brake pads, clutch and gearbox. The day before departing, top up your engine oil and water, and pack a jerry can with some additional fuel just in case. Even if you don’t need it, someone else on their journey might be very thankful that you planned ahead.

Standard vehicle equipment

Check on the parts that usually come standard with a vehicle such a reflective triangle (which all motorists are supposed to have with them by law), a wheel spanner, jumper cables and a car jack. If you don’t have these, or they aren’t in a working condition, ensure that you replace or repair them in advance.


Broken taillights and reverse lights can have devastating consequences. We often don’t realise that the lights at the back of our vehicles aren’t working until it’s too late, so ensure you have someone to help you check on them before leaving for your holiday. It’s always good to be prepared for any eventuality, so purchase a spare brake and headlight should one burn out during your trip.

Emergency kits

No holiday checklist is complete without a proper emergency kit. We suggest you compile two different kits: one for the vehicle, and a medikit for the passengers. The vehicle emergency kit should consist of a toolbox with basic tools required to repair minor vehicle problems.

Here is some equipment we suggest keeping handy your vehicle emergency kit:

  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Tyre gauge
  • Tyre sealant
  • Flashlight with extra batteries
  • Gloves
  • Duct tape
  • Cable Ties
  • Tow strap or tow rope
  • Multipurpose utility tool with a sharp knife

Prevention is always better than cure, and being prepared is the most valuable item on any holiday checklist. At Avis Fleet we like to offer our customers total peace of mind that should something go wrong, we’ll be there to assist you in every step of the process.

Our comprehensive fleet management solutions take the sting out of dealing with the unforeseen.

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