By Alden Jewell (Tucker Corporation Christmas Card, 1947) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Alden Jewell (Tucker Corporation Christmas Card, 1947) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I once had a friend whose sole purpose for wanting to own a car was to be able to drive back to their parents at Christmas so that they could play Chris Rea’s “Driving Home for Christmas”.  From the same man who wrote “Road to Hell”, we know which song we would like to choose but which journey is going to be more of a reality…

…Welcome to Volante’s tips to driving at Christmas time.

Prepare, prepare, prepare

We know that driving at Christmas is going to be hellish, so prepare for it the best you can:

  • Check the weather forecast – not only where you are setting out from, but the route and final destination
  • Don’t forget to make space for a winter motoring survival kit
  • Check over your car before setting out on your journey with our guide to winter car checks
  • Heavy presents, luggage and the whole family mean your car is carrying a heavier load than usual so do adjust your tyre pressure as part of your checks (pressure should be higher than normal)

Setting off

  • Fill up on petrol, that extra £20 fuel injection could save you hundreds of pounds in the long run (ie don’t rely on service stations which will be open even at 3am on Christmas day as you might run out in a remote location!). We doubt Santa will stop his sleigh to give you a tow
  • Check the forecast again, listen to local travel alerts and carry a map – don’t just rely on Mr Sat-Nav (what happens if you have a falling out?)
  • If you want to avoid traffic jams and tailbacks then try not to leave your journey as late as 5pm on Christmas eve
  • Finally, before you set off prepare your car: windows and windscreen are clean and clear of snow and that you are demisted by the time you pull away. Clear snow off the roof as well as you don’t want that blowing off decreasing your visibility.
  • NB – it is a legal requirement to keep your license plates and rear lights clear of snow

Breaking Down on Christmas Day

  • Keep breakdown essentials in the car such as warm clothes, charged mobile, waterproof shoes, snacks and hot drinks. Statistically you are less likely to breakdown on Christmas day but you don’t want to leave it to fate!
  • Breakdown services such as RAC and AA are ready to rescue you on Christmas day
  • According to the AA’s statistics they rescued 2,700 members on 25th Dec 2011

So from all of us at Volante Garage Edmonton, enjoy your Christmas break and we will be back in the New Year for some more useful motoring tips!

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