Every year millions of people up and down the country get some well deserved time off to spend with family and friends and often this means a car journey - when so many people take journeys at the same time massive traffic and delays are inevitable. But, what days should you avoid and what days are best to make the car journey with your personal lease or business lease? Well, in this article we take a look at the best and worst days to travel by car during Christmas and the New Year.
Why do the roads get busy over Christmas?
According to a 2017 study which is no longer available by the Accident Advice Helpline, families will travel a whopping 302 miles over the Christmas period which is the highest average of any period during the entire year. This includes shopping trips, going to work as well as visiting friends and family.
By far the biggest contributor to busy roads is Christmas shopping where many would head out after work and on weekends to buy gifts which they wouldn't normally do. Depending on where you live, there is usually a nearby shopping hub such as the Trafford Centre or Liverpool One which will pull in thousands of cars day in day out which will just be too much for the surrounding roads which aren't built for that kind of volume, mix in regular commuters and you've got yourself a problem.
All of these extra journeys and cars on the road puts pressure on UK roads and creates long queues and delays which can stretch back for miles and swallow up completely unrelated commuters which of course can be people just trying to get to work or even serious issues such as trying to get to A&E or visiting the elderly.
As if that wasn't bad enough, the stress of it all causes drivers to become careless which can lead to accidents and even more traffic problems.
Not only that, throw in extreme weather such as snow, ice and floods and you get a nasty cocktail or traffic problems even during the quieter hours of the day.
Driving a car during Christmas time is a total nightmare and many would think what's the point of it all.
Delays during this time is inevitable but with some planning you can mitigate this as much as possible.
Worst days to travel by car at Christmas
Christmas week (the week in which Christmas day is in) is by far the worst days to travel by car. This year it is 23rd-29th of December, 2019. As reported by the BBC in 2015, 14 million journeys could be made on a single day during this time. Therefore, it is advised to avoid planning any long journeys at this point and perhaps stick to small shopping trips.
However, Christmas week isn't necessarily the worst days, the worst days are actually the days leading up to that week starting from the 18th and they should be a little easier to manage from the 22nd. This period of time is peak christmas shopping times and even if you are not travelling to shopping destinations you may still be trapped in the traffic regardless.
So, the worst days to travel by car at Christmas are
- 18th December
- 19th December
- 20th December
- 21st December
- 22nd December
Many people will still be at work on the 23rd of December making late mornings and early afternoon drives much easier. 24th of December, Christmas Eve, can still be busy but many opt to stay at home that day.
Best days to travel by car at Christmas
After considering what the worst days are the best days are what's left which is any day up until the 18th and then any day after the 22nd. Therefore, the best days to travel this Christmas are:
- 17th December
- 23rd December
- 24th December
- 25th December
- 26th December