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Get there safely

Many of us travel to festivals across the country by car and for younger drivers it might be their first long journey at the wheel. With a little care and preparation you can make sure you arrive in one piece and, just as importantly, get home safely too.

Can your car make it?

Before you set off, make sure your vehicle is in good condition.  Check that you have sufficient oil, fuel, water and screenwash and that your tyres are in good condition and correctly pressurised.  Check the spare too - after all, you don't want to spend hours waiting for roadside assistance when you should be watching your favourite band on stage. 

Plan your journey

Think ahead and plan your route - and how long it will take to get there.  Allow yourself some extra time in case of delays and so you don't have to rush.  Speeding tickets can really take the shine off a good weekend!   Make sure you know how to get there and where to park - use a sat nav (but remember to stow it away securely and out of sight when you get there - find out more here) or if you are using a map, get a passenger to navigate as you drive.

Don't overload your vehicle either - there's no point in trying to squeeze five rugby playing lads and their camping gear into a small hatchback.  An overloaded car is not only uncomfortable but also dangerous - it can change the car's handling and dramatically affect its braking. 

Clear out the car before you go so that when you arrive all you need to take out and secure is what you've brought with you for the festival.

Prepare yourself

If you are setting off on a long journey, make sure you are in good condition to drive.  Get a good night's sleep and take regular rest breaks.  If you've never driven on a long journey before it can be surprising how tiring it can be, so make sure you don't become a danger to yourself, your passengers and other road users.

When you get there

After arriving and parking up, it is tempting to grab your camping gear and head on down to the festival.  But have you checked to make sure that your car is properly secured and everything of value is hidden from view? 

Treat the car park at a festival just the same as you would any other city centre car park.  The golden rule is - don't leave any property on display. Don't leave your old rucksack on the back seat or your coat on the passenger seat. They might be worthless to you, but to a thief they could be hiding money or a mobile phone. Think - Remove it, Lock it, Keep it.

Many festivals also have secure lockers which you can use to store other valuables you might not want to leave in the car.  Use them!

Driving home

This can often be the most dangerous journey, because everyone is more tired and less prepared after the weekend's activities.  If you are the nominated driver, get as good a night's sleep as possible (not easy in a tent on a noisy festival campsite!).

If you feel tired or drowsy when driving, take a rest break and have a nap.  If you are travelling with friends, make sure one of them is also awake so they can chat to you and keep you alert.  They can also help with the directions!

Stay away from alcohol the night before your drive.  Driving under the influence of drink and drugs - even from the night before - is not only dangerous but could leave you with a fine, a ban from driving and even imprisonment if you get stopped by the police.  One in five convicted drink drivers were caught 'the morning after the night before' so make sure you're not one of them.