Traffic and breaking down are biggest worry on holiday

A new survey has revealed that traffic congestion, at 59 per cent and breaking down at 44 per cent are the biggest worries on long car journeys.

That's according to latest research from Europcar, one of the leading car hire services in Europe, who surveyed reliability concerns for drivers of older vehicles as the Summer get-away begins.

It found 56 per cent of motorists driving cars aged six years or older pack a picnic before taking a long journey, however only 12 per cent get their car serviced ahead of a big trip. With the average age of cars on Britain's roads now over seven years, Europcar is highlighting the advantages of car hire as a safe, reliable and flexible alternative for UK families.

"It's clear from our research that breaking down is a major concern for drivers, but it seems that many take long trips in older vehicles without doing some of the basic car maintenance checks", said Ken McCall, Managing Director, Europcar UK Group.

"Our research revealed that the top three car checks before a long journey are fuel (82 per cent), tyres (65 per cent) and windscreen wash (64 per cent). Interestingly checking the engine oil is topped up (63 per cent) came lower than checking the windscreen wash - and checking the water coolant came even further down the list with only just over half (56 per cent) of respondents saying they do this before embarking on a long journey. We were also interested to find that only just over a third (37 per cent) said they check all the light bulbs are working, despite this being a legal requirement on UK roads."

The other challenge when planning to use the family car for long Summer trips is finding room for all the baggage and passengers. The Europcar research revealed that only 30 per cent of motorists check the car has been safely loaded before heading off.

"We focus on providing peace of mind by operating a fleet of vehicles generally less than 8 months old. All vehicles on the Europcar fleet come with roadside assistance, at no extra cost, plus there are distinct fuel efficiency benefits of driving a younger car" continued Ken McCall.