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Driving Home for Christmas – family car travels 413 miles doing the holiday rounds

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The average family car will travel 413 miles, make six trips to the shops and get stuck in three major traffic jams over the Christmas period, a study has revealed. Researchers found that the family vehicle will transport 24 presents for friends and relatives over the festive season and travel 102 miles visiting the grandparents.

Venturing out to Christmas parties and running festive errands will see motorists tackle two major diversions and consequently get lost at least twice over the holidays.

Perhaps it’s 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.

Our cars will also be expected to make three last minute dashes to the shops for forgotten items, will travel a further 72 miles to visit the in-laws and spend 28 minutes looking for a parking space.

The study of 2,000 motorists into Britain’s festive holiday driving habits was commissioned by KIA.

Results also found delivering Christmas cards, the trip to collect a Christmas tree and other spontaneous festive journeys will see the average motor doing more than 400 miles over the holidays.

Steve Kitson, Director of Corporate Communications at KIA, which commissioned the study, 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.”

The average person will make four trips to see family over the holidays and takes six presents per visit, results showed.

And in the quest for time with other family the average vehicle will rack up 102 miles.

While in true Christmas spirit, respondents will visit two distant friends on average at a cost of another 82 miles – and another 72 miles add to the tally as drivers set off to spend some time with the in-laws.

While being on hand for last minute dashes to the shops after the horror of realising key ingredients are missing or presents forgotten are a requirement for driver and increase the festive mileage.

Even on the big day itself the average motor will drive 19 miles picking up and dropping off relatives.

In the process, shivering Brits will need to defrost their car seven times on average and factor in the cost of filling their tank up at least four times.

Steve Kitson added:

”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 (6 x 4) – 24 miles
3 x last minute trips (3 x 4) – 12 miles
3 x grandparent visits (3 x 34) – 102 miles
3 x trips to visit other family (3 x 34) – 102 miles
2 x visits to old friends (2 x 41) – 82 miles
2 x visits to in-laws (2 x 36) – 72 miles
Picking up family on Christmas Day – 19 miles