Monday, 13 January 2014

Driving Job Tips

I have had a driving job for over four years now, and I spend on average 5 hours in my car per day. You certainly get used to the inside of your car :) I thought I would share a few tips that I have picked up along the way (usually learning the hard way) that may be useful for you if you also have a driving job, or maybe tend to take long trips that mean you are exposed to the inside of your car for long periods! Some of these are aimed at women but I think men may find them useful too!!

1) Car maintenance items
This is a given really, but ensure you have screenwash, oil and de-icer with you at all times. Especially in mid winter when your car can ice over in a matter of minutes if stationary around 4pm! I have run out of screenwash so many times and found myself praying for a bit of drizzle to clear my windscreen!

2) Baby wipes
I can't tell you how many times I have got something all over me. I am extremely clumsy! But even when being cautious, its easy to get a scuff mark on your shoe, or drop some food on you or, god forbid, a bird poops on you. Baby wipes are a godsend for cleaning your hands too before you eat, and if you open your bonnet for example and get dirt all over your hands. Same goes for filling your car up, baby wipes are great for getting that diesel smell off your hands.

3) Hand santiser
If you see as many clients as me in a month (around 100) you can guarantee one of them will be ill, or won't be a post-toilet hand-washer (ew). It's a good idea to keep some hand sanitiser in the car just to keep bugs at bay at regular intervals, especially as you are shaking hands with these people.

4) A drink and long life snacks
I have sat for HOURS on the M3/M25 because of accidents or just bad traffic generally. Always keep a drink handy, something sugary if possible for an energy boost, and some snacks with a long shelf life. I have some Weight Watchers choccie biccies that just keep me going if I'm sat in the car longer than planned.

5) Plastic spoons
If you have to eat in your car for lunch, like me, it's always handy to have some utensils that stay in your car, and therefore can't be forgotten. You can get packs of 100 spoons in Poundland and you can just toss them out with your rubbish when you are done without remembering to take in your metal cutlery, wash them and then remember to bring them again tomorrow.

6) A first aid kit
Most driving jobs require these as a standard anyway, but also include headache tablets on top of the standard fare. There is nothing worse than sitting outside an appointment with a banging headache and dreading going in and forcibly putting on your caring face!! Plasters are always needed, for ill fitting shoes more than anything, but paper cuts are also a regular occurrence for me.

7) Sanitary towels
These are a given ladies. Unexpected starts of periods are a nightmare when you have a driving job so it's always worth at least always having one pad in the car. Plus then there's one in there if you forget to bring one.

8) Spare socks / tights
Getting a ladder in your tights in one of the most stressful things that can happen to a woman I swear. But even worse are wet feet. Someone drives past you and splashes you, or you develop a hole in your shoe, and your feet are wet all DAY. Very uncomfortable. Always keep spare socks and tights in the car for these eventualities.  Plus for when your feet are cold!

9) Car chargers
Charges for your sat nav are probably a given but what about your phone? You never want to be without your phone when you are out and about, to keep in touch with clients/loved ones/ the AA in case of emergencies or breakdowns. Also in the downtime between meetings its nice to have some entertainment. You can get car chargers for pretty much everything on ebay/Amazon and they are so handy. An extra sat nav charger is never a bad idea either, especially if you tend to work in unfamiliar areas. A broken sat nav lead = lost.

10) An umbrella
In the winter we probably all think to take a brolly out with us but when you are out and about all year round and at the mercy of the elements (and British weather!) keeping an umbrella in the car is a good idea no matter what the forecast. The drowned rat look isn't very endearing to clients!

11) An extra coat
Same as above really, you get unexpectedly chilly days as well as unexpectedly rainy, so I always keep a waterproof coat in the car just in case. I don't tend to wear coats usually - they are just a faff when you are in and out of the car and offices so often - but it's worth keeping one for those cold and rainy eventualities.

12) Nail file
Breaking your nail is so distressing at the best of times, but when you are out and about and there's the possibility of it catching on tights, and looking haggard, it's even worse. I keep a mini nail file in the car at all times, to stop me from constantly fetching at the broken bit and making it worse.

13) Petrol Loyalty Cards
I have a Nectar card (for Sainsburys and BP), a Tesco Clubcard and a Shell Points card in the car at all times, and try to make sure I fill up there all the time to build up what ia basically free money (especially if you have a company paid for car) and keeping them in the car means you always have them with you.

Do you have any other ideas of things to keep in your car?

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