Check your tyres and give the gift of a safe family ‘taxi’ service this Christmas

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Apparently, the must-have party accessory this Christmas is willing parents or grandparents to carry out taxi duties and babysitting, according to Saga Motor Insurance.

If you count yourself in this group, you will no doubt appreciate the important responsibility you undertake when called on to ferry your loved ones – from toddlers and teenagers, to twenty and thirty-somethings – round during the festive season. So if this sounds like a familiar scenario to you, Saga recommend you follow a few tips to make sure you stay safe on the roads, like making sure your tyres are up to the job.

Sue Green, head of motor insurance for Saga, commented: “The Saga generations are more than happy to help their families enjoy the Christmas party season in any way they can. Babysitting is something that they enjoy doing and they would much rather drive their children to Christmas parties than worry about how they were going to get home.

“However, the colder weather brings with it more difficult driving conditions and the increased risk of a breakdown or accident, therefore it is important to prepare your car to cope with the winter weather.”

The Saga research revealed that over a quarter of people in their fifties will be taking on the role of taxi driver for their children or their grandchildren during December. While it seems that parents and grandparents in the North East are most likely to help out their family during the Christmas party season, over a quarter will be chauffeuring children and or grandchildren and 44% will be offering a babysitting service.

With this in mind, Saga has put together six tips for safer winter motoring, including making sure your tyres are in good condition and even considering upgrading to a set of winter tyres, which is particularly advisable to those living in areas prone to very adverse weather conditions. Saga recommend taking the following steps:

1. Carry out a few routine checks to ensure your wheels are up to the rigours of winter driving. Spend a bit of time on this now and it could save you the hassle and financial burden of an avoidable breakdown or accident further down the line

2. Regular servicing is a must and check your oil and anti-freeze

3. Check the tyres for tread depth and pressure and, if you can afford them, consider upgrading to a set of winter tyres if it becomes a bleak midwinter.

4. Make sure you’re carrying de-icer and an ice scraper. Don’t be a snow devil and try and defrost on the move, or you could end up in a ditch. De-ice your car before you travel, and ensure all windows are fully cleared of snow, frost and condensation, and clean and check your lights.

5. Do not leave the car running to defrost whilst you pop back inside for a hot cuppa – if you leave it unattended on the drive and it gets pinched you won’t be covered!

6. Prepare a breakdown kit, include a torch, bottled water, blanket, warm and waterproof clothing, high-visibility jacket and shovel. Don’t forget to include a few snacks in case you get stuck.

If you discover you need new tyres you don’t have to venture out in the cold or wet to have them fitted – just order your new tyres from etyres. We supply a wide range of new tyres to suit all budgets and our mobile tyre fitting service means we come to you, whether you are at home or work, to fit them.

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