Driving home for Christmas

Britain’s roads will be clogged this Christmas with 31 million car journeys predicted by the RAC before Boxing Day.

Christmas Eve will be the peak travelling day with 4.1 million separate car journeys, although this coming weekend is also expected to be busy with 3.3 million car journeys anticipated tomorrow and 3.5 million on Sunday.

These figures have been released by the RAC Traffic Watch data, which more than 1,700 motorists about their Christmas getaway driving plans.

However, the RAC also predicts that journey costs will be cheaper. Plunging fuel prices means it costs about £7 less to fill up a petrol family car such as a Vauxhall Astra or Ford Focus compared to December 2014, while diesel drivers should expect savings of at least £8 per tank.

RAC Traffic Watch spokesman Rod Dennis said, ‘Around 11 million separate Christmas-related car journeys will take place between Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, and this is consistent with previous years – but motorists may benefit from traffic flows that are more evenly spaced out this year, perhaps as a result of schools breaking up a full week before Christmas Day.

‘Christmas Eve is set to be the most hectic and it’s a good idea motorists plan ahead for that now. While there are 101 different things to think about before the big day, performing some basic maintenance such as checking oil and coolant levels, and making sure tyres are inflated properly can go a long way towards making the Christmas getaway journey a little smoother.’

On a lighter note, the unusually warm weather means ice creams will be more popular than ice scrapers. Although the clement weather is likely to bring more rain and motorists are warned to keep a close eye on Met Office forecasts.