Travel check for your auto - relax without problems

Finally a holiday - for you, but not for your auto. If you're considering a long drive, your car must work overtime. A long road trip needs good preparation.

Travel check for your auto - relax without problems

Finally a holiday - for you, but not for your auto. If you're considering a long drive, your car must work overtime. A long road trip needs good preparation. Our tips will guarantee that you aren't left at the side of the road.

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Tip 1: Technically ship-shape

Your auto must be in perfect working condition to take a long trip. Check the oil level, and top up the radiator and windscreen wiper fluid. Check the pressure and tread on your tires - not just the mounted tyres, but also the spare tyre in the boot. If you are travelling in a heavily-laden car, your tyre pressure should be raised a bit. V-belts, hoses and cables should be free of cracks. Brakes, suspension, lights, wipers - all need to be check. If you don't know much about cars, bring it to your garage before a trip.

Tip 2: Plan the route

Check for the best routes, and plan enough petrol station stops and rests. Note the special requirements for your destination country: do you need a CH sticker for Switzerland, a motorway vignette, or an environmental sticker for an inner city (for example in Germany and Italy)? It often makes sense to stop along the way and enjoy the sights. Perhaps there are places along the way, like a beautiful lake for a pick-nick. Check traffic reports shortly before setting off.

Tip 3: Always at hand

The following documents should always be kept handy: driver's licence, vehicle registration, insurance card, passport or identity card, list with emergency numbers, and a European Accident report. Check a few weeks before your trip to ensure that all your documents are valid. A renewal may need some time.

Tip 4: Liability insurance for travelling abroad

The Green Card is an international insurance card for motor vehicles. It proves that your car has adequate liability insurance coverage before entering another country. You can obtain the Green Card from your insurer when signing your policy. Check how long the card is still valid, and which countries are covered. If a country code is crossed out on the map,you have no insurance protection there. You can obtain additional information at the Swiss National Insurance Office at www.nbi.ch.

Tip 5: Stow luggage safely

Overloading is a common cause of accidents. Take care to stay under the maximum weight in your vehicle registration - especially when using roof and bicycle racks. If you're in an accident, loose luggage can become projectiles. Therefore the boot should be loaded only to the edge of the back seat, so that your view to the rear remains unimpeded. A poorly-loaded auto is as dangerous as an overloaded one. Therefore the boot should be loaded only to the edge of the back seat, so that your view to the rear remains unimpeded. Heavy objects should be stored at the bottom. A heavily-laden vehicle takes a greater distance to stop - make sure to keep your distance.

Tip 6: Don't forget to bring these.

Make sure to carry: warning triangle, safety vest, motorway vignette, first-aid kit, road map or GPS, spare key for the car, jumper cables, torch, tow rope, jack, tools, gloves and sun visor in each vehicle.

Tip 7: If you are travelling with children.

Children under 12 years or 150 cm in height are required to be in a child seat. Also protect your little ones from drafts and the sun. Pack enough drinks. Children get bored easily in the car. Take regular breaks, and take enough exciting audio programs and toys. For infants, toys and pacifiers should be tied to the child seat so that they can't fall down. Please don't forget their favourite stuffed animal. Otherwise you might have to turn around!

Tip 8: Breakdown assistance throughout Europe

An accident abroad is doubly inconvenient - not only for the car. Your holidays are out the window. Our tip: before your trip, obtain our "Breakdown SOS Service" supplemental insurance for all of Europe. If there is a breakdown or accident, we will support you where you are, and take care of everything needed. You can still enjoy your holiday, and we will organise your trip home and the return of your vehicle to Switzerland. We wish you a good trip, and happy holidays. We hope you have a good trip.

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