Have you recently purchased a new car using car finance? Perhaps you have finally got your dream car parked in your garage, waiting to hit the road for a long distance trip? Car finance makes it possible for you to own your dream car, now just be certain that when you buckle up and hit the road, you have checked the following things so you don’t land in a spot of bother.

Check the coolant – just be sure to do this before you leave when the engine is cool. Never open the radiator cap when the engine is hot or running.

Check your tyres – seems pretty obvious right, but it’s amazing how many people don’t do this before setting off. Get the pressures right at a petrol station – if they’re wrong you’ll burn more fuel, wear the tyres and suffer poor handling.

Spare Tyre – in the off chance that you get the a flat tyre while out driving in rural New Zealand, away from civilisation and out of cell phone reception, its imperative your spare tyre is up to useable conditions. There’s little worse than having to change a wheel, only to find the spare is missing, flat or damaged. Also check the jack, its handle and the wheel brace are there and fit your car!

Engine Oil – When you stop at the petrol station to check the tyres, make sure you check with engine oil with the dipstick. Without oil your engine will overheat, weld itself together and self-destruct.

Windscreen visibility – two things to make sure of here. One, is there enough water in the washer bottle and secondly, are you blades effective enough or do they need replacing.

Lights – Go through all your lights and get a friend or family member to watch each one as you check them off – indicator, brake, dip, full beam, fog and so on – one by one. Replace any blown bulbs. It’s a good idea to do this a good few days before you set off so that you can allow time to source the bulbs and have them replaced.

The boot – Carting things up and down the country you don’t require isn’t a good idea. Pack only what you require. Now’s the time to clear it all out – hauling unnecessary weight wastes fuel.

Taking your car to a mechanic for a once over before any long journey is never a bad idea either. Also check with your car finance provider, as often within your loan you will have road side assistance available should you require it.