The warmer months are upon us – it’s time to make sure you’re ready for all those summer road trips and holidays

Car maintenance is an important part of this.

Sure, it might be a little boring.

But the boring things in life are generally the things that are best for us. Like sprouts (unless they’re roasted with garlic and bacon and cheese), or doing your taxes, or going to bed at a sensible time.

However, taking the time to get your car prepared for summer can help to preserve the condition of your vehicle, reducing the need for vehicle maintenance and keeping costs down, as well as making sure long (and short) drives are a comfortable experience for you and the whole family.

Even though the weather is better, we all tend to do a little extra driving in the summer with the longer days and rising temperatures.

Between days out to theme parks, beaches and forests, the normal commute, and summer holidays that can take you the width and breadth of the UK (and abroad!), your poor car goes through a lot in the summer. Give it some lovely TLC every now and again, and it’ll get you from A-B without whinging.

These are our best tips to prepare your car for summer, so you don’t get caught short on the side of the M5.

Woman washing a car

Give your car a good scrubbing

Hands up who hates washing their car when the weather is awful?

We’ve got two hands up.

But the first thing you want to do is give your car a proper good scrub and wash away the dirt of winter. Debris can build up, especially when the weather has been horrendous and dirt, mud and road salt has gathered on your car. 

It’s also worth giving the interior an overhaul to get it feeling nice and fresh before your summer road trips (and before you inevitably traipse sand all over the interior after a long day at the beach).

(In fact, you’ll probably find sand from last summer still hanging around like a bad smell.)

(We’re sorry.)

Check tyres

The last thing you want when driving here, there and everywhere in the summer is your tyres giving out.

After you’ve given the car a clean, inspect all four tyres and the spare, if you have one. You’ll want to look out for cuts, gouges or any bulges in the sidewalls that might indicate something is amiss. 

You’ll also want to check the tread depth, making sure it’s at least the legal minimum of 1.6mm, if not a bit above to give you some peace of mind. And before you head off on any long journeys, check the tyre pressure against the manufacturer’s guidelines to make sure your tyres are up to scratch.

Properly inflated tyres help handling, improve fuel economy and increase the longevity of the tyres, so you’ll want to keep on top of it.

It might also be a good idea to have a puncture repair kit stowed away in the boot, just to make life a little easier and tide you over until you can get your car to a garage.

If you’ve bundled a maintenance package into your car lease deal, then it’s good news – dependent on the finance provider, your tyres and other perishables (like wiper blades) can be replaced free of charge.

Woman looking happy lying on car bonnet

Check fluids and lubricants

To keep your car in tip top condition, you’ll want to keep on top of your fluid levels all year around. 

But when most of us are driving even more and even further in the summer months, it’s even more important to make sure your car has everything it needs to get to where you want to go.

You’ll want to check the following levels, and top up where necessary: 

  • Engine oil
  • Brake fluid
  • Coolant
  • Screen wash
  • Power steering fluid
  • Fuel

If all the above are where they need to be, you’re good to set off!

Windscreen and wiper blades

In the summer months, dry dirt, dust and pollen can be blown around by the breeze and end up on your windscreen, obscuring your view and making life much harder for you.

Keeping your windscreen wash topped up in the summer months is perhaps one of the most important tasks, so that you can wash away life’s debris at a second’s notice without smearing everything everywhere and doing nothing but frustrating yourself.

On that note, give your wipers a little check over to make sure the rubber hasn’t deteriorated from overuse in the wet winter. Give them a little clean and, if needed, replace them before you set off.

Friends prepping for a road trip

Replenish your emergency supplies

Whether you’re setting off cross country, or you’re just hopping across to the next town or down to the beach or the lake, you’ll want to make sure your in-car emergency kit is well stocked.

It also helps to have some extra snacks on board in case you end up stuck in summer holiday traffic. The last thing you need is for hanger to strike, and make being in a confined space even worse.

You’ll want to keep at least the following essentials (plus anything else that brings you joy or comfort):

  • A torch
  • First aid kit
  • Non-perishable snacks
  • Bottles of water
  • High vis jacket
  • Warning triangle
  • Blanket or two
  • Fully charged power bank(s)
  • Phone charging cables

Beat the summer heat

Though the UK weather can be unreliable, and we might only get a few weeks of real hot summer, you’ll still want to be prepared for the rising temperatures, especially if you have a young family or you’re more susceptible to the side effects of hot weather.

Your best defence against the sun in the car is air con. Make sure it’s in full working order before you head off for maximum chill, and dust off your air vents to get rid of any debris. 

It’s also worth investing in a few sunshades to keep direct sunlight out while you’re parked up.

A windscreen sunshade will help the interior stay cool while you’re out adventuring in the sunshine, while rear sunshades can keep children more comfortable on long drives, and deflect those pesky UV rays.

Prep for allergy season

The worst thing about the summer season?


Though for many of us, allergy season can start in February and last until well into October, hayfever symptoms always seem to ramp up when the skies are clear and there’s no rain to dampen the pollen.

Allergies can be at their most bothersome when you’re driving and don’t want to be distracted, so it’s important to make sure you’ve taken steps to alleviate your symptoms as much as possible. 

Keeping your windows closed is crucial. 

Not only is your air con or climate control system more efficient at keeping your car cool than air blasting through the windows anyway, but it’ll keep out as much of the pollen and other allergens as possible. Also, regularly dust and hoover the inside of your car to remove anything that might make its way in.

Regularly cleaning, and replacing when necessary, the cabin air filter can help to maintain good interior air quality. It’s also a good idea to check that your air freshener is allergy-friendly.

And, of course, antihistamines are your best friend.

Tesla Model 3 under trees

Bonus: Prepare your electric car for summer

- Prep your EV for long drives

As well as everything listed above, you’ll want to take some extra steps when you’re prepping your electric car lease for a long summer drive.

Make sure you’ve fully charged your vehicle overnight, so that you set off in the best position possible, and remember to restow your cables in the boot (or frunk) in case you need them en route or at your destination. 

If you can’t charge your electric car at home, then it might be worth taking the time the day before to stop off somewhere, whether that’s at work or in public, to give the battery the juice it needs.

Keep in mind that if you’re packing everything but the kitchen sink for the family holiday, this can weigh your car down significantly and reduce the amount of miles you’ll get on a full charge – so plan accordingly.

- Plan your route and your breaks

Speaking of planning, it’s worth plotting out the route you’re going to take and working out where the service stations (or alternative pitstops are), and what the charging situation is like at these places.

It’s always worth plotting your trip anyway, whether you have a petrol car or an electric one, but if you’re on a long journey and you know you’ll want to recharge, it’s worth working out the stops so you can make the most of your journey.

We’re big fans of making charging fun.

There are so many nice service stations and fun places to stop off and plug in to make the experience a better one for the whole family. It turns your travel day into part of the holiday, instead of something to dread. And with many service stations boasting plenty of rapid chargers, you won’t be hanging around for too long.

Two men looking at the Lotus Eletre infotainment screen

- Drive smoothly

The faster – or more unevenly – you drive, the faster the car battery will drain.

EVs are renowned for their smooth driving, and it’s this smoothness that’s going to help you make the most of each charge, giving you as many miles as possible to get to where you’re going. 

Stick to the speed limit and keep your driving style stable, and you’ll maximise your range.

Stop-start traffic is not the worst thing though, because the regenerative braking can kick in and give you a little boost and avoid wasting any energy.

- Pre-condition your interior

One of the best things about an electric car? 

It’s ability to precondition the interior. Some can only do this while plugged into the charger,  while some don’t. But if you’re parked up, charging and your car is in direct sunlight, rather than having to get into a hot box and suffer, you can pre-chill the cabin and hop in when it’s at the perfect temperature.

Preconditioning is also great for warming up on cooler mornings, as well as getting the battery ready to maximise the usable range. Truly, there are no end to the things that make electric cars so good.

We’re big fans.

Now your car is prepped for the summer, check out our top tips for the actual driving portion of your trip.

Beth Twigg

Beth Twigg

Beth is our Content and Paid Media Specialist, tasked with creating great articles to keep you both entertained and informed. She has two years previous experience, but has been writing and scribbling for much longer.