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Christmas is 8 days away. We are all happy regardless of our religious inclination because we are going to partake in lots of both Muslim and Christian festivities.
Most people have been buying new clothes, shoes and other accessories. In addition to the decorations for homes and buildings.
Many people are also buying cars for the season for either Intra or inter state trips.
Taking delivery of a new car. Image courtesy of blog.toyotaofmerrillville.com.
Recently I wrote on why you should always drive with Decorum on our roads and you should check it out ‘cos you will definitely learn one or two new things. Read here…Why You Should Always Drive With Decorum.
Being a veteran on driving on Intra and inter state routes, it behooves on me to proffer advice on the best ways to enjoy your trips.

Congratulations if you bought a new car. It is not an easy feat in this our present Nigeria because our economy is largely not favoring many people now. If you bought a brand new car, your stress will be a lot less in terms of mechanical and documentation issues you should expect and most probably experience.
For starters, your car most probably came with all the essentials and in good working order. Stuff such as a Jack, wheel spanner, jack rod, fire extinguisher, C-caution and a spare tire that is inflated. Moreover your documentation should be in order but if in doubt, get a professional to double check for you. Then if you bought a brand new car from America and it naturally came with tinted windows, ensure that  you get a genuine tinted glass permit from the Nigerian police.
Then if you bought a used car popularly known as Tokumbo or Belgium, then you have more headaches to contend with.
For starters, ensure that the car was not smuggled into the country and that the import duty was properly paid for the car. Then ensure that you have the registration of the car properly done by going through trusted and accredited quarters. Scrutinize the documents given you to make sure there are no errors with the numbers or other information on all the documents. This is because any discrepancy will help you realize that truly our men in black are your friends.
If your car has a red, commercial plate number remember to get the local government permit and ensure you get the one with a national coverage so that you won’t be having issues when you drive out of your locale, and also have a waste bin in your car.
Make sure that you equip your car with all the essentials like jack, spanner and Jack rod; fire extinguisher that is well charged and hasn’t expired, a good C-caution, a spare tire that is free of punctures and is inflated.
Then get a professional to service the car, change the engine oil if need be, check the power steering and brake oils, if a manual transmission car,  check for the clutch oil also. Check for your gearbox oil, and axle oils. Ensure that the manufacture’s recommended oils are used to avoid messing up any of the systems. Confirm the status of your brakes-pads, ABS, master cylinder, sensors and lines.
Confirm that your suspension systems are working well. These are the shock absorbers, springs, linkages, bushings, sway bars and arms. Even when the shocks and springs are ok, but the other components aren’t they can really mess you up.
A car undergoing repairs. Courtesy of Groupon.
For your comfort and safety, ensure that your seat belt are in good condition, that the air conditioner system is working well and the air filter is clean. Get your radio or CD player working well as these will help make your trip more comfortable and help keep the driver is a great condition during and after the trip.
For those who didn’t buy a new car, just follow the advice given those who bought used cars and remember to confirm that your vehicle documents are in order and haven’t expired. If they have, hurry now and get them rectified otherwise, be ready to have an expensive, embarrassing and uncomfortable trip as the law enforcement officers will either fine you, detain you or force you to part with money that would have been much more than sufficient to renew the expired documents. 

If you are not good with driving especially if driving long distances, arrange to have a professional do that for you. It will cost you more but your life and properties are worth much more.
When you are packing your luggage in the car, remember to leave space so that you can see through the rear windscreen and have an all round view of your car while driving otherwise, the men of the FRSC will stop you and book you.
Do not compete with other road users especially when they annoy you. You don’t know how quickly what was otherwise a little issue can escalate to ugly dimensions. Let this saying guide you; ‘many are mad but few are roaming’.
You have done all these, now it’s time to commit your trips to the Almighty God for protection and safety because you need his grace to help you drive safely and get other road users to also drive safely. And to protect you from brigands who prowl the roads looking for who to devour.
Lagos-Benin Expressway. Image courtesy of Naij.
I implore you to read my article on why you should always drive with Decorum and share so that others will also read and improve their road safety skills so that together we can achieve a safe season.
Oh, remember to send me my own hamper, don’t I deserve it?
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