It is the most wonderful time of the year – but for everyone who is driving home for Christmas first comes the most dreaded time of the year: sharing the road with thousands of other drivers how also want to get home to spend the festive season with loved ones.
The team at the ClickMechanic HQ thought long and hard about ways to make your Christmas journey more pleasant, save and most of all: festive.
Preparing for the drive home
As with all long-distance drives, we recommend checking your car before you set off. The key things to tick off the list are:
- Engine oil levels incl. top up if needed
- Tyre pressure
- Wiper blades
- Coolant levels
Recommended song to feel festive: Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree
While you are stuck in the annual Christmas traffic
We have all been there – sat in a long queue of cars on the motorway on weekends and Bank Holidays, or stuck in slow-moving, rush-hour traffic. To get through it smoothly, here are 4 Do’s and Don’ts for heavy traffic jams:
- Put your car in neutral: When you are stuck in slow-moving, stop-and-go traffic, it’s tempting to keep the car in gear and the clutch engaged, in case you start moving again. This puts unnecessary strain on your clutch, decreasing its longevity.
- Switch your engine off: Research shows that even idling for short time burns more fuel and emits more nasty emissions than restarting your car, so switching your engine off in idle traffic would offset this.
- Drive smoothly in slow-moving traffic: It can be tempting to slam the accelerator down when a gap opens up in traffic. However, if all this means is that you will brake again within a short distance, you will wear out your brakes quicker than if you drive in a slow and steady fashion.
- Don’t tailgate: As we can all agree, tailgating is one of the worst things you can do whilst driving. Not only will you put yourself and other drivers in a dangerous situation, but your brakes will also wear out faster if you constantly need to hit them hard when traffic slows down.
Recommended song to remind you of the merry season: It’s the most wonderful time of the year
When the road clears after a traffic jam
Finally, you are really driving home for Christmas. The free road ahead brings you closer to your final destination. While it is tempting to put the foot down a bit further to speed up to make up for some time lost, remember to stick to speed limits. Take extra care in wintery and adverse weather conditions which make driving more tricky with slippery road surfaces, rain, and darkening skies.
Recommended song to cheerily celebrate: Candy Cane Lane
When it starts snowing
While snow is rare in the UK and the predictions for a white Christmas are low, there still can be a Christmas wonder. Seeing the first snow is something special and wonderful. On the other side, it makes your journey more challenging. We have written a post about driving on wintery roads so you can get safely to your destination.
The obvious song to mark this moment: Sleigh Ride
When you tuck into your Christmas sandwich
As a prepared driver, you brought a sandwich for the trip. It is recommended to pack snacks and drinks when you embark on a long journey – especially when you can expect it to take longer than usual due to heavy traffic. And as it is Christmas, it should be a festive snack or sandwich.
Recommended song while you are munching through our treat: All I Want For Christmas Is You
When you wish for a new car for Christmas
Spending a long time in your car might make you realise it’s small niggles and aches even more. Even more so, you might come to the conclusion that you will be looking for a new car next year. We have just the right tips on what to look out for when buying a new car.
But in the meantime, listen to this song instead: Santa Baby
When you finally reach your Christmas destination
Give a cheer for you are here. Your mood lightens after a long Christmas journey. Welcome home!
Recommended song to share the joy: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Happy driving home for Christmas and a wonderful festive season!