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Just How Much Do We Drive Over The Holidays?

The festive season is now well and truly over and for all of us January – and reality – have […]

The festive season is now well and truly over and for all of us January – and reality – have set in and made us come back down to earth with a resounding bump. As public transport tends to grind quite literally to a halt over the festive period it’s no big surprise that people turn to their cars more than usual as their preferred mode of transport. Car hire provider Hertz conducted a survey this Christmas about the time and distances us Briton’s drive during the holiday period, the results of which make for some interesting reading!

Round the world…at Christmas?
When it comes to how far motorists will travel to reach their final Christmas day location the numbers are shocking. Even with entire families stacked in to a car and more than one passenger per vehicle we’re still willing to and do travel a long way. When broken down into annual mileage, the average mileage we cover is equivalent to taking a trip to Copenhagen each year! Or if you want a UK comparison, a total of five times round the M25. In miles this works out to be an average of 580 miles over Christmas, and over a life time a colossal 46,712 miles – or nearly twice around the world, making it apparent how much we really do rely on the various transport systems available to us.

Busy times for Londoners
London as a city and the UK’s capital has a permanent undercurrent of activity going on. The constant and incessant hustle and bustle makes it a city that never sleeps – even during the early hours of the morning. This trend unfortunately is something that doesn’t change for its inhabitants over Christmas as out of the whole UK, Londoners complete the most Christmas mileage. One of the potential reasons behind this could be that with London being such a central business hub, many workers will reside here and consequently head to family or friends for the holidays, pushing the mileage up for this area.

Hours behind the wheel
So, how much time do all these hours behind the wheel take out of our much anticipated Christmas holiday? The answer is a substantial amount…try nearly an entire working day or an average of 7.5 hours put away simply driving from destination to destination. Over a lifetime this adds up to 600 hours, or 25 days – nearly an entire month of your life! We just wonder how much longer these distances would have been before the roads became so efficient or our cars so speedy and efficient.

Driving is still the man’s job
Men take to the wheel more than women over the holidays too and when comparing the survey results they clock up an additional 162 miles totalling an average of 662 miles – women clock up a mere 500, it would appear then that tradition still counts when it comes to driving.

Other results
There are also a reasonable amount of individuals with extreme distances to travel or perhaps multiple locations as a shocking five percent of the survey participants spend a whole twenty four hours in the car over Christmas. This is, ironically enough, an amount of time in which it’s possible to fly to the other side of the world and land in Sydney, Australia.

So, thinking of ditching the car? Maybe wait until after Christmas…

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Lucy works with as a blogger for a number of car rental companies including She enjoys learning about technology and trends in the industry.

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