As Railway Works Force People On To Bank Holiday Roads, Drivers Urged To Check Before They Travel

Kwik Fit | Thursday 3rd May 2018 12:07pm

  • Tyre pressure and coolant neglected by many drivers
  • Nearly one in ten drivers (8%) confess to never checking
  • Kwik Fit centres open throughout bank holiday weekend

With engineering works causing disruption on the railways all across the country this bank holiday weekend, with over 800 railway projects1, many families will be taking to their cars to make the most of the sunshine. Kwik Fit, the UK’s largest automotive servicing and repair company, is urging drivers to heed the traditional railway advice to “check before they travel”, by ensuring they look over their car before setting off.

Kwik Fit’s research2 has revealed that the combination of heavy traffic and warm weather could cause overheating problems for a significant number of drivers – a quarter of car owners (26%) admit to never checking their coolant level, or only doing so after a warning light has come on.

With many cars fully laden with passengers over the bank holiday, it is even more vital that tyres are inflated to the correct pressure – something that nearly one in ten drivers (8%) confess to never checking.  In addition, over a third of drivers (36%) say they never check the pressure of their spare tyre, which may mean it is of limited use in an emergency.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “With good weather forecast across the country, and people avoiding railway disruption, it’s clear that roads are going to be very congested.  But before drivers jump into their cars with their families, we would encourage them to make a few simple checks which could avoid a costly and stressful breakdown.  Like most things in life, prevention is better than cure when it comes to car maintenance.”

Kwik Fit provides some advice below on some of the key safety checks drivers should make before setting off this bank holiday:

  • Coolant levels - with traffic levels at a high, it is more than likely that motorists this weekend will spend time in stationary queues, causing engines to heat to temperatures higher than the norm. Motorists should therefore check their coolant levels before setting of to ensure their engine doesn’t overheat.
  • Oil checks -  always check oil levels to ensure the vehicle is running most efficiently, as a quick oil check and top-up can prevent avoidable engine problems.  However, it’s not just the level to check, it’s also the condition.  For instance, a black tar-like substance that is much thicker than new oil is far less effective and should be changed.
  • Lights - ask a passenger to check all lights are working before setting off. If travelling alone, flash lights against a reflective surface to ensure the vehicle is safe for the journey. It is always advisable to clean the lights frequently to remove built up dirt.
  • Screenwash levels - make sure the screenwash reservoir is topped up before setting off to ensure maximum visibility. When traveling on motorways, or driving in heavy traffic for extensive periods of time, a lot of dirt and grime ends up on the windscreen so having plenty of screenwash will help to maintain clear vision.
  • Tyre pressure - ensure tyre pressures are all correct before setting off, driving with under inflated tyres can cause excessive wear and motorists can experience increased rolling resistance with the road which reduces fuel efficiency. On the other hand, over inflated tyres means reduced contact with the road and vehicles which can lead to loss of traction and poorer braking distances.  
  • Tyre tread depth - adequate tread is critical to help tyres grip. Kwik Fit recommends that drivers make sure they have at least 3mm of tread on all tyres – on wet roads the more tread they have, the shorter the stopping distance is likely to be.
  • Warning triangle - should drivers be faced with the worst case scenario and a breakdown does occur, it is always advisable to have a warning triangle to inform other road users, for everyone’s safety.

For drivers with any concerns about their vehicle, most Kwik Fit centres are open throughout the bank holiday weekend.  Motorists can find their nearest centre at

For the latest news and updates from Kwik Fit, customers can also follow the company on Twitter at @kwik_fit.

Notes to editors 

1 - 822 railway projects over May bank holidays: Network Rail

2 - Research carried out by ICM among a nationally representative sample of 2009 UK adults aged 18+

About Kwik Fit

Established in 1971, the Kwik Fit Group is one of the largest independent automotive parts, repair and replacement specialists in the world. Kwik Fit has over 600 service centres across the UK and more than 200 mobile tyre fitting vehicles, making it the UK’s leading tyre, exhaust, brake and MoT specialist.  Details of its range of products and services can be found at

For further information please contact:

Samantha Stewart/Antonia Green/Emma Castle

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 020 7638 9571

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