How far have you got to travel over Christmas?

How far have you got to travel over Christmas?

With just two weeks to go until Christmas, Brits across the UK will be preparing for the season of good will. New research released today has revealed that the average family car will travel 413 miles, make six trips to the shops to purchase items including household decorations, food and drink, the family’s presents, and of course the Christmas tree, and get stuck in three major traffic jams over the Christmas period.

The study of 2,000 motorists into Britain’s festive holiday driving habits was commissioned by Kia. Researchers found that over one in ten make more than 11 trips to stock up on food for the Christmas period, but not before spending a total of 28 minutes driving around to find a parking space. Half of UK drivers also anticipate needing to make up to three last minute dashes to the shops for forgotten items after the horror of realising key ingredients are missing or presents overlooked.

Forty percent of Brits expect to visit more than three different homes over the Christmas period. 102 miles will be covered visiting grandparents, and in the quest for time with other family members the average vehicle will rack up a further 102 miles. Another 72 miles add to the tally as drivers set off to spend some time with the in-laws, while in true Christmas spirit, Brits will visit two distant friends on average at a cost of an additional 82 miles. Even on the big day itself, nearly one third will need to pick up their in-laws on Christmas Day, driving 19 miles in doing so.

Researchers also found that the family vehicle will transport 24 presents for friends and relatives over the festive season. Venturing out to parties, running errands such as delivering Christmas cards and collecting the Christmas tree, as well as other spontaneous journeys, will see the average motor clocking up the miles over the holidays.

Motorists will tackle two major diversions and consequently, 54% will get lost at least once over the holidays. Perhaps no surprise then that the average driver will be flicking through three Christmas CD’s to pass the time, and leading four sing-alongs to festive tunes.

The findings also showed that if the bad weather set to grip the UK hits, shivering Brits will need to defrost their car seven times on average and factor in the cost of filling their fuel tank up at least four times, equating to an additional £240 on the cost of Christmas.

Steve Kitson, Director of Corporate Communications at Kia Motors UK Ltd. said: ‘’With so much to remember and fit in to the Christmas holidays, our reliance on our vehicles is more important than ever. Time is precious over the festive season as we all want to make the most of the occasion, visit our friends and family and create a memorable holiday. We’ll be depending on our cars more than ever and the study shows that we do get a lot of miles under our belts over Christmas, often in very tough conditions. The very last thing we need is for our cars to let us down and leave us immobile and missing out on the celebrations.”

“Taking the time to plan ahead for journeys and avoid peak travelling times will reduce the chances of getting caught in traffic and ensuring people are able to make the most of their visits. Having peace of mind in your vehicle goes a long way to ensuring Christmas goes as smoothly as possible.”


  • 6 x food shops in December, over an average distance of 4 miles each trip – 24 miles
  • 3 x last minute trips, travelling an average of 4 miles each trip – 12 miles
  • 3 x grandparent visits, travelling 34 miles each time – 102 miles
  • 2 x visits to in-laws, covering 36 miles on each visit – 72 miles
  • 3 x trips to visit other family members, covering 34 miles on each visit – 102 miles
  • 2 x visits to old friends, travelling 41 miles each time – 82 miles
  • Picking up family on Christmas Day – 19 miles


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