Gearing up for Christmas

AA reveals festive fun involves staying put for 2/3 of Brits

19 December 2007

As the UK gears up for the 2007 Christmas getaway, new research from the AA highlights the route ahead for Christmas driving as well as the true festive feelings of British motorists:

  • Friday, 21 December will see over 18 million1UK motorists hit the roads as the 2007 Christmas getaway starts in earnest.
  • Over 60% of motorists would prefer to be staying at home instead of hitting the road over the festive period
  • 25% of motorists expect to clock up over four hours of journey time in their car this Christmas
  • 10% of motorists expect to travel over 100 miles visiting friends and family
  • Over 40% of road users will not allow any extra time for traffic jams when planning their journey
  • 75% of those travelling are not planning an overnight stay, instead opting for a round-trip all in one day
  • The Welsh are planning to travel the furthest with one in five travelling in excess of 100 miles
  • West Midlanders are planning to stay closer to home with over 80% travelling less than 10 miles
  • One in 10 generous Brits expect to have up to £1000 worth of extra items in their house over Christmas
  • Almost 90% confess they don't adjust contents insurance to cover these additional items

Adam's advice

To avoid Christmas catastrophes on the roads and in homes this year, AA Patrol of the Year, Adam Ashmore advises:

  • Plan journeys in advance by visiting AA Route Planner
  • Include regular breaks on long journeys, especially if planning to fit in a round-trip all in one day
  • Check local traffic reports for delays. Roadworks are planned for
    • M1 junctions 6a to 10 and 30-32
    • M4 junction 6 and Cardiff Gate
    • A1 between Colsterworth and Markham Market
  • Carry out basic checks on your car before you leave. Check oil, water, coolant and tyres. The AA's Podcasts offer easy to follow tips and advice for car care
  • Check your car battery - flat batteries are the most common cause for AA call outs
  • Take care when packing your car - don't overload or obstruct vision
  • Provide in-car entertainment for younger passengers and sufficient refreshments for everyone, allowing extra in case of delays
  • Pack essentials for an emergency such as warm clothing and blankets, de-icer, a torch, first aid kit, tow rope, snow shovel, warning triangle, water repellent spray and a map in case of unexpected diversions
  • Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged in case of emergency and carry your AA membership card with you at all times
  • Check your home contents insurance covers the extra gifts you will have in the house - the AA automatically increases cover by 20% over the Christmas period

Notes to Editors

January sales traffic will cause congestion on the M5 at Cribbs Causeway, the M1 at Meadowhall and the M60 at the Trafford Centre.

Motorists should factor in extra journey time if planning to hit the M25, especially between the M3 and M1 interchanges (junction 11-21).

1ICM poll of 1,005 road users on 21st November 2007 found that 60% of motorists are planning a car journey over the Christmas period

All other statistics from an ICM poll of 1,011 road users, December 12th-13th 2007


19 December 2007