Taking Your Vintage Car Out for a Day Trip

Owning a vintage car is a unique and unforgettable experience, and one of the best parts is bringing your new retro vehicle home.

The first time you take your car out is great fun and can be the perfect opportunity to take a road trip.

To help you plan your dream inaugural journey in your latest vintage car purchase, we've put together this handy guide.

Whether you're a seasoned classic car connoisseur expanding your collection or you’re buying your very first vintage vehicle, we’ve got tips to help you ensure a fun first day out.



Make Sure Your Vehicle is Road Legal

vintage old car

Vintage vehicles that have been kept in a garage for some time might need to be serviced or taxed before they're taken out on the open road. Check that your new car is correctly taxed and has a valid MOT.  Additionally, you need to make sure you take out the right insurance policy. Specialist insurers like Reis Motorsport Insurance offer dedicated sports car insurance that covers a range of classic cars and sports cars.

 As such, you can get the specialist cover you need for your latest vintage vehicle before you take it out on its inaugural ride.

Top Up the Fluids

Fluids, such as water for the radiators and oil for the engine, and even wiper fluid, are crucial to the smooth running of any vehicle. Even if you're confident that the old owner took good care of the vehicle, you should check the fluid levels and top them up if needed. You’ll then be able to rest assured that your car will run perfectly and that you won’t need to top anything up during your trip. As well as topping up the fluids, you should also use this opportunity while you’ve got the bonnet up to check the engine and feel confident that your car will give you a smooth and stress-free driving experience during your trip.

Fill the Tank

As obvious as it might sound, you should make sure you have a full tank of petrol before you set off on your first day trip in your vintage vehicle. Make sure you fill the take the evening before, so you don’t have to worry about topping up your tank on the day of your excursion. When filling the tank of any vehicle, you need to make sure that you choose the right fuel, as putting diesel in a petrol vehicle, or vice versa, then you could cause lasting damage. As such, you need to make sure you’re careful and get into the right habit from the beginning.  

Pump Up the Tyres

An old car that’s been in a garage for a while might need a tyre check. At the very least, you’ll need to add some air to the tyres, to ensure that you have a smooth and safe ride. You can get air for your tyres from most petrol stations and garages, or if you have a tyre inflator at home, you can use that to add air to your tyres and ensure they’re ready for any road surface. Having fully-inflated tyres helps to improve your driving experience and reduce the chances of a blow-out during your trip. If you own a tyre inflator, then it might be worth keeping it in the boot once you’ve used it on your new vintage motor, so you will always be able to top up if you need to while you’re out on the road.

vintage car day trip

Plan the Perfect Route

When you car's ready, and you're comfortable taking your first trip, you need to figure out where you're going. That means choosing a route that's fun to drive and not too far from your home so that you don't overdo it on your first trip in your vintage motor. For your premier trip in your new classic car, you should consider one of the most scenic drives in the UK, so you can see the sights and have a great time while you get to know your new classic car.

Once you have a route in mind, you should input it into your GPS system or mark it out on your map, so you’re confident that you can find your way if you get lost.

Take a Short Drive First

Before you embark on a day trip in your new vintage car, you need to familiarise yourself with how it runs and the driving experience. So, it would help if you tried taking a short trip in it first to ensure that you feel confident. You don’t have to go far: round the block will do to get a feel for the car and how it works. See how the car handles corners and important factors like the stopping distance, so you’ll be prepared for any driving emergencies when you’re on your big trip, and can drive safely. You’ll also be able to check that your car is running perfectly, so you’re ready for your first exciting day trip in your new vintage motor.

Pack an Emergency Kit Just in Case

Even the most prepared drivers will face some emergencies at some point. If you find that you break down, or that you end up stuck in massive traffic, you will need to make sure you have everything you need to make yourself comfortable and get the help you need. Every emergency kit will need some essentials, such as jump leads and a first aid kit, but there are some personal items you might want to keep in your car as well. These might include a spare coat, a battery pack to charge your smartphone, a small supply of any important prescription medicines and other items. Consider what you'll want from your emergency kit and keep it in your car. If the kit has any perishable items in it, such as snacks, drinks or medical supplies, then you'll need to check them and replace them regularly, so be aware of what's going into your kit from the beginning.

Taking your latest vintage car purchase out on the open road is an exhilarating experience for any driver, but you need to make sure you're prepared for any eventuality. Use these tips to ensure that you and your car are ready for your first excursion.

Author - Olivia Poglianich
Olivia Poglianich          

Content Strategist

Olivia Poglianich is a nomadic brand strategist and copywriter in the motorcycling and adventure space who has worked with brands such as Visa, Disney and Grey Goose. Her writing has taken her all over the world, from a Serbian music festival to a Malaysian art and culture event. Olivia is a graduate of Cornell University and is often writing or reading about travel, hospitality, the start-up ecosystem or career coaching. Her latest interests are at the intersection of web3 and communal living, both on and offline.


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