Taking the family out for the day to the beach is an exciting time for all. The sunshine, the sand, and the water. If you are in a position to take your car onto the beach – why not? Of course, if you are planning on taking your car driving on the beach, there are some things you need to know. No one likes getting stuck and it is a high possibility when driving on sand. So before you go taking your car driving on the beach check out the most common do’s and don’ts.
Is your car equipped to drive on sand?
Not all cars can be driven on the beach. 4WD vehicles are recommended and some high clearance all when dives also. Let’s just say that taking your beloved Hyundai Getz on a nice drive to Double Island Point, won’t be as nice an experience as you may think when your bogged in deep dry sand. If you aren’t sure about your car, check the drivers manual and do some research on the net. We recommended you check out this website: https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/before-you-visit/visit-with-care/four-wheel-drive-with-care/driving-on-sand
DO check the regulations
Not all beaches allow for vehicles to be driven on them. Before you go, make sure you check to ensure that the beach you are attending allows for cars to be on it. If you travel onto a beach that does not allow cars on it and you are caught – you could be up for a very hefty fine. Also make sure that the area of the beach that you are going to is not overly crowded with people and you can safely drive your car in and out without risking hitting people.
The lighter your car is, the better. If you are planning a full day out at the beach, try to pack light. Or unpack your car in the spot you plan on setting up on before going driving across the sand. If your car is too heavy when you are crossing the sand, there is an increased risk of your car getting stuck.
DO reduce your tyre pressure
Once you get to the beach, release some of the air from your tyres. With a lower pressure they are able to get better traction on the sand and maneuver easier. Aim for a PSI of between 15-20 on each tyre when you are driving on the sand. Just make sure that you reinflate your tyres to the correct PSI for road driving afterwards.
DON’T get caught by the tides
The best time to beach drive is within two hours of the low tide. Make sure that you check the tides before you go and time your trip accordingly. If you do not check the tides you may get a sudden surprise when the tide rises. If this happens whilst you are out there, you may end up getting caught out there.
DO give your car a good clean afterwards
If you live coastal then you probably already know that the salty water can cause rust concerns with your car. So once you are finished your trip out driving on the beach, take your car to a car wash or give it a good clean at home. Rinsing off all the salt water will reduce the risk of rusting. Removing the sand will help prevent scratching to the paint. Putting a sprinkler under the car on the driveway for a few minutes is recommended to clean out the underside of the car and some car washes may also have this facility available…As always pay attention to water restrictions.
DON’T drive beyond your means
If you are not a confident driver or you have not driven on the beach before, either let someone else do the driving or take it slow and steady. Most beaches won’t have speed limit signs up, but the general rule is to stay under 25km per hour. Avoid heavy braking and try coasting to a stop rather than a quick halt.
If you find yourself uncomfortable at any point, don’t feel ashamed. Simply turn around and try again another time.
Enjoy your time out on the sand and water. Stay safe and make lots of enjoyable memories.