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Motorists clocking up 450 miles each over Christmas – survey

A fifth of motorists say their Christmas experience is heavily influenced by driving to visit family and friends, a survey indicates.

RAC research suggests 22.8 million leisure trips are being made by car between Boxing Day and Saturday (Rui Vieira/PA)
RAC research suggests 22.8 million leisure trips are being made by car between Boxing Day and Saturday (Rui Vieira/PA)

By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

Motorists are typically driving nearly 450 miles each over the festive period, a survey suggests.

An RAC poll of 3,500 drivers indicated that UK motorists will clock up an estimated 4.3 billion miles between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

That is an average of 449 miles each, which is the equivalent of a round trip from Oxford to Middlesbrough, Leeds to Edinburgh or Cardiff to Huddersfield.

A fifth of respondents (20%) said their Christmas experience is heavily influenced by driving to visit family and friends.

We tend to cover much longer distances than usual RAC spokesman Rod Dennis

Separate RAC research suggests 22.8 million leisure trips will be made by car between Boxing Day and Saturday.

The breakdown firm’s spokesman Rod Dennis said: “Drivers will be seriously racking up the miles over the next few days as the UK’s motorways are overwhelmingly dominated by people taking leisure trips.

“This is very much a time of year when we tend to cover much longer distances than usual to ensure we get to spend valuable time with family and friends, regardless of where we or they live in the country.”

Mr Dennis warned that the additional mileage will lead to “plenty of extra breakdowns”.

He went on: “While our patrols will be out in force right through the Christmas and new year period, drivers can lessen their chances of becoming a breakdown statistic by making sure their cars are up to the job of a long drive.

“Oil and coolant should be at the right levels, and when it comes to tyres, drivers should check each one has plenty of tread and is properly inflated.”

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