• Those motorists hitting the road will travel an average of 116.5 miles
  • Over one in eight drivers have experienced a Christmas breakdown, yet many neglect pre-journey checks

The study carried out for Kwik Fit, the UK’s largest automotive servicing and repair company, found that drivers using their cars for leisure trips over the festive period will travel 116.5 miles on average.

However, while around one in ten (9%) drivers will be leaving their car at home, and just over a third will drive 40 miles or fewer, some 3% of drivers are set to clock up more than 500 miles over the holiday break, with one in a hundred motorists topping 1,000 miles.

Unfortunately, Kwik Fit’s research found that trouble may be in store for some Christmas motorists. Almost one in five drivers (18%) who are setting off on a long journey admit that they won’t be carrying out any checks at all on their vehicle before setting off.  The most common check drivers make is of their screenwash level, but 40% of drivers neglect even this most basic check, something which could cause problems when the roads are busy and dirty. Just over half (56%) of drivers check their tyre pressures, but less than a third (31%) look at their tread levels, a factor which is vital in dealing with the slippery conditions motorists often face at this time of year.

13% of drivers say that they have broken down over Christmas or New Year in the past, with nearly 400,000 drivers saying they experienced car problems last year alone. However, only a quarter of drivers check that they have emergency supplies in their boot before setting off on long journeys and with temperatures forecast to drop, motorists would be wise to be prepared when venturing on lengthy trips.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “The research reveals that many miles are set to be driven over the festive season and while the majority will pass smoothly, drivers would be wise to prepare for the worst and also ensure that their cars are in the best condition possible.  It’s no fun to break down at any time of year, but in the cold, rain or snow it’s even more unpleasant.  If any drivers have any concerns about the condition of their car they can pop into one of our centres where our team will be happy to provide expert advice.”

Kwik Fit’s top tips for winter motoring are listed below:

  • Pay attention to your battery. If you’ve noticed that it’s beginning to struggle to start your car, have it tested before it completely fails
  • Check your tyres. Make sure they have sufficient tread.  1.6mm is the legal limit, but safety experts recommend you consider replacing them at 3mm, especially in seasons with difficult weather conditions.  As well as the right tread, ensure they are inflated to the correct pressures.
  • Wipe your blades. Check your wiper blades – are they leaving marks or do they have any cracks or splits?  They are a cheap component but invaluable for clear visibility
  • Check the levels. Screen wash, coolant, oil (and fuel!) should all be monitored
  • The scout ethos – be prepared. In winter weather can turn ugly quite quickly, so have a few supplies in the boot, just in case the worst happens and you are stranded for a lengthy period.

For more detail and advice, visit the Kwik Fit website.  For the latest news and updates from Kwik Fit, customers can also follow the company on Twitter at @kwik_fit.