Summer is coming, lockdown restrictions are lifting and longer journeys (potentially to exciting staycation destinations) are starting to become a possibility once again. So, we thought it was time to help you prep your car for these upcoming journeys with our top tips, must-have products and essentials services.

The prep work

Squeaky clean

Let’s start by giving your car the attention it deserves. A clean car, both inside and out, will not only look good but be a pleasure to drive.

When it comes to the outside, there are a wealth of sprays, waxes and polishes you can use to give your car a showroom-worthy shine and ensure its paintwork is protected. One of our favourite tools for shifting dirt and grime quickly is a

Turning our gaze inside and it’s all about upholstery cleaners, glass sprays and car vacuums. We’ve got a great advice article on how to clean your car in three easy steps, so be sure to check it out if you’re looking for some inspiration.

Rear mounted bike racks

Smart storage

Cars have limited space on the inside, particularly if you’ve got kids along for the ride. The easy solution to the packing problem is to add extra space by way of a bike rack and/or roof box.

Bike racks come in three types: rear-mounted, roof-mounted and towbar-mounted. Each has their own benefits, so the choice will really come down to what type of bike carrier is suitable for your car, how many bikes you want to carry and how often you plan to use your bike rack. Our handy bike rack fitting tool will help you to find the perfect bike rack for you and book a fitting.

With roof boxes, you’ve got a choice of small, medium and large depending on how much extra space you think you might need. And if you need roof bars to go along with your new roof box, then our roof bar fitting tool is on hand to help.

In case of a breakdown

No one wants to imagine that they’re going to break down, but it’s better to safe than sorry. Having breakdown essentials in your car will give you all the important bits of kit you need if you find yourself stranded at the side of the road. These include a hazard warning triangle, tow rope, booster cables, foot pump, gloves, a weatherproof torch and batteries.

Add another layer of protection with our dedicated breakdown cover. We offer five levels of cover for cars, vans and motorbikes, and all policy holders qualify for a range of exclusive Halfords benefits including half-price MOTs and 10% off servicing. We also include bike cover as standard with every motor policy – perfect if you’re taking your bikes along with you on your journey.

Handy in-car additions

For the car

A full breakdown is most likely a problem for the experts, but if you’ve been unlucky enough to pick up a nail in your tyre or you run into a flat battery then there are steps you can take to get yourself back on the road (or at least to your nearest garage).

Make sure you’ve got some Holts Tyreweld to hand for quick and easy emergency puncture repair and a tyre inflator to get your tyres back up to pressure again. Jump leads will help you to overcome a flat battery (although bear in mind that you’ll need a donor car), while a jump starter does the same job while taking away the need for another car.

For you

Being able to look after your car is important, but being able to look after yourself is equally important (and probably more – sorry car!). That’s why we’d always recommend taking a first aid kit along on any long trips. This neat little kit contains various dressings, plasters and wipes, along with a resuscitation device, bandage and universal sheers, all in an easy-to-store bag. Tuck it away in a corner of your boot and you’ll be set.

Four-legged friends

The family pup isn’t going to want to stay behind while you take off on your adventures – and thankfully, they don’t have to. Equip yourself with in a mesh or tubular dog guard and your best friend will have a secure place to enjoy the journey.

Another option is a dog car harness, which is basically a seatbelt for your dog and will keep them safe and secure in the backseat. Fully adjustable, lightweight and easy-to-fit, many harnesses can also remain on your dog outside of the car as you can attach a lead to them. It’s ideal for saving time and hassle.

Fittings and services

Several of the products we’ve mentioned – like bike racks, roof boxes and dog guards – require fitting. Our experts are on hand to help with this and you can find out more about all the fitting services we offer and how to book them here. Let our colleagues do the hard work and be safe in the knowledge that your new purchases are fitted safely and professionally.

We’ve also got experts at our garages to assist with any breakdown-related repairs, services and MOTs. And why not take advantage of our Free 5-Point Car Check? As this name suggests, it’s totally free and involves one of our technicians checking five key parts of your car. Perfect for when you’re due to leave on a long journey.