September always brings a sense of ‘returning to routine’ as we leave the summer holidays behind and start looking ahead to autumn and winter.
Of course, that often means busier roads, busier school runs and a busier commute. While you can’t do much about the traffic, there are some steps you can take to set yourself up well for your return to routine this September. Let’s take a closer look.
Make sure your car is in top shape
If you set off on a getaway adventure over the summer, enjoyed some day trips with the kids, or simply took the opportunity to visit friends and family across the country, then you probably added a hefty number of miles onto your odometer. Wracking up the miles can put various pressures on your car and so it’s essential to stay on top of maintenance and ensure that your vehicle is in good condition.
Our Free 5-Point Car Check is a good starting point because it covers five key areas including tyres, battery and bulbs. The check’s available at any Halfords store or garage and you can book an appointment online at a time that suits you, so it’s a really convenient way to make sure those essential components are working well.
Or, now is the perfect time to make the most of one of your two free 10-Point Car Checks as part of your Premium Halfords Motoring Club Membership. The check covers tyres, batteries, bulbs, wiper blades, oil levels and more. Now is an ideal time to advantage to ensure your car is in top condition for the school run and getting to work.
Or if there’s a particular part of your car that you’ve got some concerns about, then have a look at our free checks. From tyres and brakes to batteries and suspension, our experts will be happy to provide a second opinion and keep you moving for less.
Make your fuel go further
The morning commute can often mean stop–start traffic, crawling along the road towards your destination and generally spending a lot of time with the engine running. These are all factors that’ll have a negative impact on your fuel consumption, sending you back to the pumps more often than you’d like (particularly with prices being so high recently).
Thankfully, there are some ways that you can counterbalance that. Driving at lower speeds (less than 65mph) and avoiding sudden acceleration or braking will both help make your fuel last longer. It’s also important to ensure that your tyres are inflated to the correct level and that remove any unnecessary weight on your roof such as bike racks or roof boxes.
These might seem like small steps, but when combined, they can start to make a real difference. Have a read of our recent blog Money-saving tips for motorists: How to save fuel for more in-depth advice about how to make your fuel go further.
Prepare for the school run
If that morning commute involves the school run, then there are a few things to bear in mind to help keep your kids safe and secure.
The main one is car seats. Children up to approximately 12 years of age or 135cm in height (150cm in the Republic of Ireland)/36kg in weight are legally required to travel in a child seat, so it’s essential to make sure that you choose the right one for your child.
Child seats come in various sizes and styles, and you may need to upgrade to a bigger seat as your child grows. Or why not make life easy for yourself by investing in a multi-stage seat right from the start? Designed to span multiple sizes, some of these seats can be used from birth through to approximately 12 years of age so you’ll never need to upgrade them.
If you need more help finding the perfect car seat ready for the school run, head over to our Car Seat Buyer’s Guide.
Prepare to beat the traffic
We mentioned getting caught up in stop–start traffic during your commute and, while there’s probably always going to be an element of this depending on your route, adding a sat nav to your car can help you to overcome the worst of it.
Many sat navs will provide real-life updates about conditions along your route, including any accidents, road closures or roadworks that might disrupt your journey. They can also offer alternative routes to help you avoid problem areas, cutting down on time spent in queuing traffic.
Whether you’re commuting to work or heading out on the school run, it’s always a good idea to be prepared for busier roads.
Halfords is here for all your motoring and servicing needs, and we’ll never be beaten on price on thousands of essentials, so head on over to Halfords.com to find out more.