New figures released today reveal that Britain’s drivers are set to travel a total of 3.5 billion miles over the Christmas and New Year period visiting family, friends or going on holiday. The

study, carried out for automotive servicing and repair company Kwik Fit, 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.

Thirteen per cent 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."