With the holiday season upon us, many Americans are stretching their dollars to make a trip home for the holidays. While driving is the thrifty option, unexpected vehicle repairs can bust your budget this time of year. The non-profit Car Care Council advises motorists planning a road trip over the holidays to follow the three Ps – prepare, prevent and plan – to save money and avoid breakdowns.
- Conduct a pre-trip vehicle inspection. If you find your vehicle needs repairs, be sure to address them in a timely manner so they can be performed by a trusted technician before your journey. While it may be tempting to put off repairs until after the holidays, it is not worth the risk and added expense of more extensive work down the road.
- The last thing any driver needs is to break down in cold, harsh winter weather. A pre-winter vehicle check is a sensible way to avoid the inconvenience of being stranded out in the cold as well as costly emergency towing and repairs.
- Before traveling longer distances, plan your route and review the council’s steps to better fuel economy to maximize savings at the pump. Pack a road emergency kit, including jumper cables, a road atlas, first-aid kit, flashlight with extra batteries, water, non-perishable food and blankets, and be sure your cell phone is fully charged.
“Taking proactive steps to prepare, prevent and plan in advance of your holiday road trip will help you avoid the hassle and expense of unplanned car trouble away from home,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. “The Car Care Council’s free 80-page Car Care Guide not only makes a great stocking stuffer, but it will help you and your loved ones drive smart and save money during the holidays and all year through.”
The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s Car Care Guide or for more information, visit www.carcare.org.