Top tips for festival driving

Top tips for festival driving 22nd June 2015

There are many fantastic summer traditions in the UK. From the humble picnic to the church fete, it seems that there's something happening at every turn throughout the warmer months. 

In the last couple of decades, one type of event that has become more mainstream and part of the summer tradition for many people nationwide has been the music festival. From the humble beginnings on Worthy Farm in the late 1960s to the many great festivals now spread across the nation and the seasons, festivals really have been embraced by the masses. 

With the historic Glastonbury festival taking place this weekend, more than 150,000 people will be descending the Somerset town, with many driving to the event. It will be a similar story for the likes of Leeds/Reading and T In the Park later in the summer. 

Increased traffic thanks to the festivals can cause the roads to be a lot busier, so it's important to make sure that you are well prepared if you intend to drive to your event. It's easy to forget about the drive and making sure the car is ready amid all of the organising of tents, rucksacks and wellies, after all. 

Before you get there

Before you set off for the festival, it's important to make sure you have prepared the car for what could be a long and arduous journey. The last thing anyone wants is to be sat at the side of the road waiting for a breakdown service when they should be enjoying the atmosphere of the festival. 

One of the most important things to check before you go is your tyres. Ensure that they are in a healthy state and are properly inflated before you go. Remember, your car will be loaded with far more weight than it's used to carrying, and your tyre pressure may need adjusted to compensate for this. 

And remember, if you have any doubt about the health of your tyres, you should always seek to have new tyres fitted before you undertake a long trip. 

Other checks you should carry out before you hit the road include making sure all of your lights are in working order, and topping up the oil and coolant level. Remember to also make sure your windscreen washer fluid is in plentiful supply. You'll thank yourself when you get to the festival and have to park in a wet field where other cars are kicking up mud onto your windows. 

Finally, when planning your journey, try to give yourself plenty of time to get there. Remember that the roads are likely to be very busy, especially around the festival, and setting off just that little bit earlier can help you avoid the big queues. 

When you arrive

Once you get to your destination, it's important you don't just dump your car in the car park and run off to enjoy the excitement of the festival. Taking a few moments to check a couple of things can ensure the whole weekend goes without a hitch. 

First of all, make sure everything is off when you park. Interior lights are easy to miss, especially if you've been driving in the dark and trying to find directions. The last thing you want is to come back to the car on Monday and find that the battery is flat. 

Afterwards, take a moment to note where you are parked. Look around and see if there are any trees or other landmarks around that you can look out for and make it easier to find your car when you return. Finally, make sure your keys are stored in a safe place. Most festivals offer lockers, and these can be priceless in reducing the headache of losing  your keys.

Leaving the festival

No one wants to think about going home from their favourite festival before they even arrive, but sadly it's something that's worth thinking about if you are driving. 

Consider when you plan to drive, first of all, and plan your day before out in advance. If, for example, you are thinking about leaving first thing in the morning, you need to make sure you get a good amount of rest the night before – no all-night partying. 

And finally, remember to take clean shoes for driving. This is Britain, and although festivals generally take place in the summer months, chances are that the weather will have been pretty atrocious. Your shoes or boots are likely to be covered in mud and this will make driving dangerous. Pack a clean dry pair of shoes in the car and change into them before you leave the car park to make sure you can get home safely.

Posted by Danielle Barge