British holidaymakers covering 15 billion miles this year

According to research commissioned by Kwik Fit, British families will rack up a total of 15.7 billion miles in their own cars during holidays this year. A survey of 2,003 nationally-representative UK car owners shows that 46 per cent have already taken, or will take, their car on holiday with them this year, covering an average of 1,082 miles. That’s further than driving from Bournemouth to Bratislava, Sunderland to Salzburg or Manchester to Monaco.

The average number of holidays by car being taken by UK motorists this year is 2.5. While the vast majority of these trips will be within the UK, with 13.2 million cars being used for domestic holidays, our European neighbours will see an influx of UK number plates. The research showed that 2.2 million cars will head to France, 550,000 to Germany, 520,000 to Spain and 390,000 to Italy.

For those holidaying in Britain, the most popular places Brits plan to visit are the South West (28 per cent), South coast (21 per cent), Wales (20 per cent) and Scotland (19 per cent). The Lake District (16 per cent), Yorkshire Dales (14%) and Midlands (13 per cent) also scored highly. Motorists in the West Midlands plan to travel the greatest distance in their own cars, with expected average mileage of 1,322 miles – perhaps because they are furthest from the coast. Welsh drivers plan to stay closer to home, with the lowest average distance at 722 miles.

Despite covering significant distances, many motorists admit they don’t undertake basic checks on their vehicle to ensure it’s in good enough condition to cover hundreds of miles. A 25 per cent told ICM they don’t check their tyre pressures and 51 per cent said they set off without checking the tread on their tyres. And 67 per cent neglect to check their spare. But it’s not just tyres that drivers neglect – only 44 per cent check their coolant levels, and just 37 per cent make sure their brake fluid is topped up. Three quarters will start their journey without checking the validity of their insurance. Only 24 per cent of holiday drivers will have their vehicle serviced before embarking on their trip, while nine per cent say they won’t check anything at all.

“Driving hundreds of miles in a short space of time will take its toll on any vehicle, particularly if you’re a family carrying heavy loads,” said Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit. “To cover such distances safely and with peace of mind, it’s vital that holidaymakers carry out basic checks before they set off. If drivers are unsure what to look for, they can bring their car into any Kwik Fit centre to be checked over. After all it’s much easier to have it done there than on the side of a motorway at the beginning of a family getaway.”

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