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Christmas congestion: 12 days of delays expected

Christmas congestion

The 12 days of Christmas will be congested and could be dangerous for drivers. From couriers delivering gifts to taxis full of party-goers, the last two weeks of December are unlike any others for the rest of the year.

Combined with this additional workload, the roads are also made treacherous by the winter conditions. Drivers are facing Christmas traffic on greasy, gritty roads in dim light, and potentially freezing conditions.

UK traffic jam

“This time of year means the hazardous combination of distracted road users, including pedestrians, and poor driving conditions,” said Pete Robb, safety expert at Continental Tyres.

“What is different in recent years is the emergence of thousands of gig-economy drivers and riders. They will be extra busy this Christmas season, with a recent study revealing that 63 per cent of these road users are not provided with training to manage risk.”

Which days are busy and why?Christmas congestion

Continental has divided the coming 12 days into what makes each most treacherous. Thursday and Friday (the 19th and 20th) are when the schools break up and the last of the Christmas parties take place.

Then, the final weekend before Christmas, otherwise known as ‘panic shopping weekend’, longer-distance travel for the period begins. The Monday before Christmas (the 23rd), is when travel is well underway. Christmas Eve is the last gasp for shoppers and delivery companies, before Christmas day, when everything goes relatively quiet.

British drivers stuck in traffic

Post-Christmas is when the shopping frenzy really begins, ironically, in the run-up to the new year. There’s also the rush of people travelling home and others returning to work. And, of course, there’s new year’s eve. In short, the next 12 days really look quite frantic when it comes to getting around.

So, plan your journeys, when you leave and what route you take. Give yourself plenty of time. Make sure your car’s up to the job and consider the conditions you’ll be venturing out into.

Christmas party: whether to drive the morning after

Drivers warned about dangers of driving after christmas party

‘Tis the season to be merry, as office parties get underway before Christmas. However, motorists are being warned about the risk of unintentionally drink-driving the day after.

New research from breathalyser company AlcoSense found 44 percent said they’d drive before 11am following a large consumption of alcohol the evening before.

More than a fifth said they’d drive before 9am. Just one in six (17 percent) said they’d wait until after midday before taking the wheel. It’s about this time that your system is likely to be clear of alcohol, if you’d stopped drinking at 1am.

Drink driving accidents highest since 2010

Drink-drive convictions aren’t only down to being pulled over on the night. Twenty percent of roadside test failures and resulting convictions happen the day afterwards. And a third of all breathalyser tests happen between 7am and 1pm. December is a busy time for roadside tests, too. In December 2018, there were more than 57,000 – double most monthly averages – and nine percent of drivers failed.

Only 64 percent understand that a new day doesn’t make you alcohol-free instantly. And some old myths still stand: 49 percent said a good night’s sleep was one of the best ways to sober up, while a hearty breakfast was suggested by 40 percent of respondents. Just under a quarter (24 percent) said a strong black coffee could help.

In fact, sleep, coffee or even a cold shower do little or nothing to accelerate your processing of alcohol.

England should lower drink drive limit, scotland says

“It takes about an hour to break down one unit of alcohol, and there’s nothing you can do to speed up the rate it leaves your system,” said Hunter Abbott, managing director of AlcoSense.

“Drivers should either abstain completely or use a personal breathalyser to make sure they’re clear of alcohol the following day.”

Strict abstinence may not sound very festive, but you could be thankful for it. Even at a mere eighth of the drink-drive limit, you’re 37 percent more likely to be involved in a fatal incident, studies suggest.

31 million cars will join the great Christmas getaway

Christmas journey UK 2019

A new study by the RAC and Inrix gives a snapshot of the season on UK roads, as drivers begin their festive getaways. In total, 31.2 million ‘leisure journeys’ will take place between today (December 17) and Christmas Eve. 

This week alone (December 16 to December 22) around 25 million of those trips will happen, with Wednesday and Thursday expected as the peak travel days.

Meanwhile, 5.6 million are expected to be late leavers, taking to the road on the 23rd (Monday) or Christmas Eve.

Christmas carriagewaysChristmas journey UK 2019

Which roads will be travel hot-spots over the Christmas period? Data from Inrix suggests the M1 in Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire will be particularly busy.

The M25, perhaps unsurprisingly, will feel the pain, particularly the northern and western sections. And the M6 in the West Midlands is also set for tailbacks.

Here is the RAC’s prediction for which roads will be problematic over the Christmas period.

Date Leisure trips by car Major roads likely to be busy Major roads likely to be less busy Expected longest delays (breakdowns and collisions can significantly increase journey times across all roads)
Thursday 19 December 4.7m Between 3pm and 7pm After 8pm M25 clockwise J23 Hatfield to J28 Chelmsford: 56-minute delay around 7.15pm

M25 anticlockwise J17 Maple Cross to J12 for M3: 48-minute delay around 8pm

M5 north J11 Cheltenham to J1 West Bromwich: 33-minute delay around 2pm

Friday 20 December 4.7m Between 12pm and 7pm After 8pm M6 north J5 Sutton Coldfield to J10A Wolverhampton: 57-minute delay around 8.15am

M25 clockwise J15 for M4 to J19 Watford: 46-minute delay around 2.15pm

M1 south J16 Northampton West to J6 Watford: 43-minute delay around 3.45pm

Saturday 21 December 3.7m Between 10am and 3pm After 4pm M40 south J11 Banbury to J9 Bicester: 42-minute delay around 1.15pm

M1 north J12 Flitwick to J16 Daventry: 37-minute delay around 2.15pm

Sunday 22 December 2.5m Between 10am and 4pm After 5pm M1 north J12 Flitwick to J16 Daventry: 97-minute delay around 12pm

M25 clockwise J7 for M23 to J16 for M40: 58-minute delay around 12.15pm

M5 south J15 for M4 to J23 Bridgwater: 48-minute delay around 3.30pm

M40 north J12 Gaydon to M42 J3A: 41-minute delay around 6.45pm

Monday 23 December 3.1m Between 10am and 3pm After 4pm M25 clockwise J15 for M4 to J19 Watford: 69-minute delay around 2.45pm
Tuesday 24 December 3.1m Between 2pm and 6pm Before 10am N/A

 

What about the weather?Christmas journey UK 2019

The Met Office expects spells of strong winds and heavy rain, interspersed with clearer and showery conditions this week. There’s a potential frost due tonight (Tuesday Dec 17). The west should expect windy conditions on Wednesday, with a national yellow (severe) weather warning going into Thursday.

“While Christmas Day is still a little way off, it looks as though millions of drivers are planning to complete their getaway trips this week,” said RAC patrol of the year, Ben Aldous.

Christmas journey UK 2019

“Unfortunately, when you add in the prospect of unsettled weather, with heavy rain and strong winds in some parts, these are likely to be pretty unpleasant drives for many of us. 

“Drivers should remember that a small amount of preparation before setting out can dramatically cut the chances of breaking down in the first place – checking tyre tread and pressure, as well as ensuring oil and coolant are at the right levels, is a must before any long journey.”

The best books for car enthusiasts this Christmas

Best books for Christmas

Time is running out if you are still searching for Christmas gifts. If you’re in need of inspiration, we’ve created a list of 20 books guaranteed to appeal to the car enthusiast in your life.

Alternatively, why not add them to your own Christmas wish list? Read on to discover some literary gems.

Autopia: The Future of Cars

Autopia – The Future of Cars

Written by Jon Bentley, the presenter of The Gadget Show, this book celebrates the ‘rich heritage’ of motoring’s past and looks into the future of the automobile. Will electric or hydrogen win the race to replace petrol and diesel? Will we be travelling to work using jetpacks? By talking to the engineers and coders who are shaping the car industry, Jon Bentley predicts the answers.

Buy Autopia: The Future of Cars on Amazon

Car Hacks

Car Hacks

There are 126 tips and tricks in the Car Hacks book, and we’ll be testing a good proportion of them over the Christmas holidays. Indeed, we recently published a feature focused on car hacks that use items you’ll find in your home, including everything from a pair of tights to herbal tea bags. A great stocking-filler or a handy reference book to put in your garage.

Buy Car Hacks on Amazon

How to Build a Car

How to Build a Car

How to Build a Car explores the story of Adrian Newey’s 35-year career in Formula One through the prism of the cars he has designed, the drivers he has worked alongside and the races in which he’s been involved. The current chief technical officer of Red Bull Racing, Newey has designed F1 cars for some of the biggest names in the sport. Not bad for a guy who was expelled from school for hijacking a concert soundcheck and blowing out a stained-glass window.

Buy How to Build a Car on Amazon

Pub2Pub

Pub2Pub

This book chronicles the epic 27,000-mile journey made by Ben Coombs in his TVR Chimaera. The intrepid traveller visited 25 countries to grab a beer in pubs at opposite ends of the world, from an abandoned Soviet mine 700 miles from the North Pole, to a remote pub at South America’s southernmost tip. Forget joining a gym, embarking on an amazing road trip ought to be one of your new year’s resolutions.

Buy Pub2Pub on Amazon

How to be Formula One Champion

How to be Formula One Champion

Written by The Grand Tour script writer, Richard Porter, this book asks if you’re the next Lewis Hamilton. You’ll discover what it takes to hit the big time in top-flight motorsport, including the art of champagne spraying and how to wear a massive watch. It even outlines the art of ‘psychologically crushing your teammate without him noticing’. This time next year, you could be the best F1 driver… in the world.

Buy How to be Formula One Champion on Amazon

100 Years of Bentley

100 years of Bentley

Time is running out if you want to celebrate Bentley’s centenary in 2019. Written by university lecturer and respected journalist Andrew Noakes, this book is a ‘lavish celebration of the company, from its earliest models right up to the modern day cars’. The weighty tome is perfect coffee-table material, with 240 pages and more than 200 pictures from the archives.

Buy 100 Years of Bentley on Amazon

High Performance: When Britain Ruled the Roads

High Performance

Peter Grimsdale’s book celebrates the British car industry’s golden age. It charts the boom years between the Second World War and the 1960s, when Britain thrived on improvisation and dogged determination. If you’ve read the extract on the death of Mike Hawthorn, you’ll know that this is a must-read this Christmas.

Buy High Performance: When Britain Ruled the Roads on Amazon

Ford versus Ferrari: The Battle for Supremacy at Le Mans 1966

Ford versus Ferrari

You’ve seen the film (probably), now read the story. There are many books on the subject of Ford’s quest to topple Ferrari at Le Mans, but this is the latest. Crucially, this book goes into detail about the Lola GT, which isn’t always the case in stories about ‘Ford v Ferrari’.

Buy Ford versus Ferrari: The Battle for Supremacy at Le Mans 1966 on Amazon

The Self Preservation Society: 50 Years of The Italian Job

The Italian Job

The 60th anniversary of the Mini happened to coincide with the 50th anniversary of The Italian Job film. The 1969 comedy camper is likely to be on television at some point over the Christmas period, so why not read 336 pages on the subject beforehand? It’s not a cheap book, but it’s one that you’ll pass on to your children.

Buy The Self Preservation Society: 50 Years of The Italian Job on Amazon

The Tin Snail

The Tin Snail

We’ve got the original hardback version of this book – and we loved it. Whether you’re buying it to read to your children at bedtime, or for them to read by themselves, it’s a heartwarming and humorous tale inspired by the true story of the Citroen 2CV. Cameron McAllister’s book is a brilliant portrayal of how a little car won the war… 

Buy The Tin Snail on Amazon

The Sound of Supercars

The Sound of Supercars

This book is likely to inspire the next-generation of car enthusiasts. Whether they’ll be able to enjoy the evocative sound of a supercar at full chat is a matter for debate, because the electric car may have taken over by the time they’re ready for ‘L’ plates. There are 12 cars in the book, ranging from the air-cooled two-cylinder Morgan 3-Wheeler to the 16-cylinder Bugatti Chiron.

Buy The Sound of Supercars on Amazon

Grease Junkie: A Book of Moving Parts

Edd China

Best known for co-hosting Wheeler Dealers with Mike Brewer, this is the world according to Edd China. The book invites you to ‘go behind the scenes on Wheeler Dealers’ and ‘climb aboard this giant motorised shopping trolley’. Because who wouldn’t want to climb aboard a giant shopping trolley? Pull up a road-going sofa and enjoy.

Buy Grease Junkie: A Book of Moving Parts on Amazon

Survive. Drive. Win.

Survive Drive Win

If the reviews are anything to go by, this book is little short of extraordinary. Damon Hill’s description says it all: “The story of Brawn GP is legendary. Imagine sitting at home at Christmas thinking you were out of a job, then by next Christmas you were a World Champion. This is F1’s Leicester City story – it’s every bit as exciting and magical.”

Buy Survive. Drive. Win. on Amazon

British Leyland: Chronicle of a Car Crash 1968-1978

British Leyland

There’s nothing magical about the collapse of the British car industry, although its disappearance act would give Paul Daniels a run for his money. ‘Why did British Leyland crash?’ asks the book, before outlining the reasons in great detail. Read it and weep.

Buy British Leyland: Chronicle of a Car Crash on Amazon

Mini: 60 Years

Mini 60 years

It’s highly likely that you own a car book written by Giles Chapman. His latest title celebrates 60 years of the Mini, from its revolutionary introduction, to the popular new-generation cars of today. Buy it now, before the Mini enters its 61st year.

Buy Mini: 60 Years on Amazon

My Mini Cooper: Its Part in My Breakdown

James Ruppert book

James Ruppert’s books are typically eccentric and off-the-wall. This one is no exception, with the ‘Bangernomics’ overlord and serial Mini owner explaining ‘how not to buy, run or restore a classic car’.

Buy My Mini Cooper: It’s Part in my Breakdown on Amazon

How to be an F1 Driver

How to be an F1 Driver

Who better than Jenson Button to explain how to be a Formula One driver. This book takes you on a journey from his hometown of Frome in Somerset to the glitz and glamour of Monaco, with everything in between.

Buy How to be an F1 Driver on Amazon

My Greatest Defeat

My Greatest Defeat

This one is going straight to the top of our Christmas list. It’s a collection of ‘honest and revealing insights into 20 of the greatest living racing drivers’. It was written before the death of Niki Lauda, so it includes a discussion with the Austrian on the subject of the loss of one of his aircraft over Thailand. Other drivers include Damon Hill, Sebastien Loeb and Jackie Stewart.

Buy My Greatest Defeat on Amazon

The Official DVSA Highway Code

Highway Code

Are you taking your driving test in 2020? Maybe you know somebody who is? Forget a pair of socks or some ‘smellies’ this Christmas – grab a copy of the Highway Code. Alternatively, if you know of a driver who would do with a reminder of the rules of the road, this could be a subtle hint.

Buy The Official Highway Code on Amazon

How to Live in a Van and Travel

How to Live in a Van and Travel

We certainly know some people who would like to make a clean break following the events of 2019. Mike Hudson’s book explains how you can escape modern life in a campervan or motorhome. Mike has been living the dream in his ‘van-home’ for the past three years. Come Boxing Day, you might fancy doing the same thing… 

Buy How to Live in a Van and Travel on Amazon

Why is Volkswagen towing a giant Christmas bauble around the UK?

Volkswagen Amarok Next Christmas bauble

Volkswagen has teamed up with high-street clothes chain Next for a Christmas PR stunt. An Amarok pick-up will tow a giant bauble around the UK. 

This Santa’s sleigh of sorts has a payload of Next Christmas jumpers. Pop-up shops are being established throughout the country in aid of the Save The Children charity.

The Volkswagen‘s journey starts in Edinburgh and finishes in London, with stops along the way including Manchester and Milton Keynes.

Volkswagen Amarok Next Christmas bauble

When reindeer are otherwise unavailable, the Amarok makes for a decent stand-in. It’s able to tow 3,100kg: the equivalent of 18 reindeer. 

As for that bauble, if you think it looks a bit like a Smart ForTwo, you’re not wrong. The Amarok, not to be out-Christmassed, is resplendent in red, with a stars-and-baubles livery.

#ForEveryKingOfChristmas is hashtagged across the side, along with a message to ‘Follow the Bauble car’. 

Volkswagen Amarok Next Christmas bauble

“We are very proud to see the award-winning Amarok spread some Christmas joy over the holidays and participate in this special seasonal tour,” said Sarah Cox, head of marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

“The Amarok is the perfect fit for this partnership with Next and we are happy to be powering the festivities up and down the nation, all for an excellent cause.”

Christmas 2019: The ultimate car-lovers gift guide

Presents for petrolheads

Christmas is coming, and shoppers will soon begin the last-minute dash for gifts. If a Lynx shower set won’t cut it for your loved one this year, we’ve got a few motoring-themed ideas that could make for a pleasant surprise.

Click the links to check out each potential gift. 

Silverstone Classic tickets

Presents for petrolheads

Watching cars racing door-to-door on a circuit is always special . The Silverstone Classic delivers this, plus a sprinkling of live music on top, over the course of a summer weekend. Tickets are available from the event website.

Goodwood tickets

Presents for petrolheads

Goodwood hosts the Members’ Meeting, Festival of Speed and Revival. If you love cars, you have to try all three. Tickets to any Goodwood event will be a surefire hit with any car fan.

Jaguar clothing

Presents for petrolheads

Once you’ve got the tickets sorted, what are you going to wear? There is plenty of Jaguar gear you can kit out the petrolhead in your life with: jackets, glasses, T-shirts and more.

Maybach merchandise

Presents for petrolheads

Is your partner’s Louis Vuitton bag looking a little tired? Have no fear: Maybach, Mercedes-Benz’s luxury division, is here to help with a selection of bags and apparel. It’s lovely stuff, although perhaps not ideal for lugging around a car show.

Outlierman accessories

Presents for petrolheads

If motoring-branded apparel isn’t quite the ticket, but the premium look is appreciated, check out The Outlierman. These ‘accessories for the gentleman driver’ include driving gloves, scarves and weekend bags. Swanky stuff.

Fully Charged apparel

Presents for petrolheads

Want to wear your eco credentials on your sleeve? The Fully Charged website could have something to suit, with hats, T-shirts, hoodies, mugs and more in stock.

Frank Stephenson sketch prints

Presents for petrolheads

Now for some car-themed art. We start our selection with a couple of pieces from Frank Stephenson, the genius responsible for designs from the new Mini to McLaren P1. Limited-edition prints detailing the design and inspiration for both cars are now available.

Motiveculture art

Presents for petrolheads

For something a bit more affordable, Motiveculture is almost unbeatable. The pictures are minimalist but stylish, with high-quality flat colours and sharp definition. Classic cars and modern art go together like bread and butter: get one on your wall.

Automobilist custom art

Presents for petrolheads

If you love the above, but can’t find a particular car you like, Automobilist can probably help. It’s the company that created the awesome poster for the launch of the new De Tomaso.

Omologato watches

Presents for petrolheads

If you reckon your friend isn’t punctual enough at Christmas, car-themed chronographs don’t come much cooler than these. Bonus points: the company’s founder is a genuine petrolhead

Nurburgring Monopoly

Presents for petrolheads

Nurburgring-themed Monopoly should keep the whole family entertained this festive season. Counters include racing trophies, helmets, a Formula 1 car and more.

Fast and Furious: Hobbs & Shaw

Presents for petrolheads

After tensions in Nurburgring Monopoly reach their peak, sit everyone down with a good film. Well, in the case of Hobbs & Shaw, perhaps just a film. Either way, if you love cars, it’s hard to turn down watching Jason Statham skid a McLaren 720S around London.

Lego Land Rover Defender

Presents for petrolheads

Lego and cars are connected like never before. There are so many models to pick from, but the new Land Rover Defender is one of our favourites. It’s available on Amazon. And so cool!

The Crew 2

Presents for petrolheads

You can only venture so far on a car-themed Christmas list before getting into games. With that, we have a mini list within a list, picking our favourite titles, plus the best kit to play them with. The Crew 2 is the most underrated open-world racer of the last 10 years. Pick your vehicle to explore America, including supercars, muscle cars, and rally cars, not to mention planes, helicopters and boats.

Forza Horizon 4

Presents for petrolheads

Forza Horizon 4 does what The Crew does, but in the UK, with more cars and better graphics, albeit a much smaller map. It’s a good laugh for an hour of dry stone wall-smashing fun.

Project Cars 2

Presents for petrolheads

If The Crew and Horizon are a bit arcade-like and your loved one has ideas of being an amateur racing driver, Project Cars 2 is the one. Get them out on Classic Le Mans in a Ford MkIV, pretending they’re Dan Gurney. We won’t judge – we do it all the time.

Gran Turismo Sport

Presents for petrolheads

For a Playstation racing game fix, there is only one, isn’t there? Gran Turismo Sport is a welcome return to form for the GT franchise. It’s the best mix of realism and fun since 2004’s Gran Turismo 4.

Logitec racing wheel

Presents for petrolheads

All of the above are much more enjoyable if you use a proper racing wheel, rather than a controller. Logitec’s G920 (Xbox) and G29 (PS4) help get more from these games on a reasonable budget.

Tesla Cybertruck reservation

Presents for petrolheads

Like buying a star, a reservation for a Cybertruck is both reasonably affordable and a bit of a laugh. You can even get a refund once the joke has passed. Or, if it actually happens, go through with your order…

Coca-Cola has ‘ruined Christmas’, says waste company

Ban the Coca-Cola Christmas truck

The Coca-Cola Christmas Truck will roll into Edinburgh today to start its UK tour. It’s confirmation that, like it or not, the holidays are coming.

Actually, there’s more than one truck, unless the big red lorry has magical powers akin to the big fella in the red suit. It will also be in Cardiff today, with the tour drawing to close at the O2 Arena on Sunday 15 December.

But one waste company wants to ban the Coca-Cola truck, claiming it’s ‘one of the stupidest Christmas traditions’. 

“Driving a truck the length and breadth of the country for no clear purpose sets a bad example,” says Mark Hall of BusinessWaste.co.uk.

Coca-Cola would take issue with the ‘no clear purpose’ claim. According to its website, the truck will ‘spread holiday magic’ and bring ‘festive joy to people across the UK’.

There’s also the small matter of selling bottles of fizzy pop and ensuring the Coca-Cola name is spread far and wide via social media. 

As Buddy the Elf might say, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear… and taking a big red truck on a tour of the UK.”

‘Ruined Christmas’

Coca-Cola truck in Cardiff

BusinessWaste.co.uk says the Coca-Cola truck does 10.6mpg, weighs 40 tonnes and will use 287 gallons of diesel fuel. It also says that Santa’s sleigh is more efficient, but we’re not sure that’s been verified by the WLTP test.

Mark Hall doesn’t hold back. “Those fizzy pop guys night [sic] have invented the red-suited Santa, but they’ve ruined Christmas,” he ranted. 

“The fact is, they’re driving lorries over 3,000 miles up and down the country, then up and down the country, then up and down the country one final time on completely unnecessary journeys, with zero route planning.

“That’s the same as driving from London to Moscow – and back again!“

Which camp are you in? Will you welcome the big red truck and its band of Christmas helpers, or do you agree with Mark Hall?

The Coca-Cola truck: naughty or nice? You decide.

Top Trumps is a reason to get excited about Christmas

Top Trumps sports cars

Like it or not, Christmas is coming. In fact, in just a couple of months we’ll be deep into office Christmas party season.

If that fills you with dread, some Top Trumps playing cards could provide some light relief.

Avoid unwanted interest from your line manager by studying the performance figures of the BAC Mono. Charm Samantha from marketing with the 0-62mph time of the LaFerrari.

Knowing the ‘cool factor’ of the Pagani Huayra is almost certain to lead to promotion. Probably.

A set of Top Trumps has been the gift that keeps on giving for over 40 years, with tens of millions of packs sold worldwide. Winning Moves, the company behind Top Trumps, says it’s the UK’s number one card game.

There have been all kinds of themes over the years – FHM, Trolls and Frozen, to name a diverse trio – but cars are the best. Why? Because this is a motoring website.

Nostalgic glee

Porsche 917 Top Trumps

The company has been in touch about three sets you can buy for Christmas, including two retro packs.

Sports Cars Top Trumps is your standard fare: cars with crazy horsepower, even crazier top speeds and ‘cool factors’ that are off the scale.

Crazy Cars Too Trumps Retro allows you to “immerse yourself in crazy nostalgic glee”. At least, that’s what it says here. Some of the cards look pretty wild, but we only have eyes for the Porsche 917.

Finally, the Exotic Sports Cars Top Trumps. It dates from 1992 and includes cars like the Vector W8 Twin Turbo, Ginetta G33, Ferrari F40, Lamborghini Diablo and Jaguar XJ220. To paraphrase John Travolta, this is the one that we want.

Aside from the newly designed cassette pack, it looks the same as it did in 1992, so it fills us with crazy nostalgic glee.

The packs cost £6.99 and are suitable for ages 6 and over. Apologies to any pre-schoolers who fancied some nostalgic glee.

Ranked: the most dangerous Christmas songs for drivers

Christmas driving songs dangerous

Yes, you read that right. These are the most dangerous Christmas songs for drivers. Best we warn Santa, lest he unwittingly puts on one of these headbangers and winds up recklessly drifting roundabouts in his sleigh.

Finance provider Moneybarn has completed a study examining 95 popular Christmas songs based on their tempo in beats per minute (bpm). Who will have us driving dangerously as we’re on our way home for Christmas, then? No, it’s not Driving Home For Christmas. That’s actually classed as quite safe, would you believe it, at 34th on the list.

Kelly Clarkson’s Underneath the Tree is, based on its 160bpm tempo and energy score of 0.8, the most ‘dangerous’ Christmas song to drive to. It would be someone called Clarkson, wouldn’t it?

Wizzard’s famous classic I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday comes in at second. We get that, actually. It’s quite upbeat, quite rowdy. You could certainly get into a jig and sing to it when you should be concentrating on the road. Jose Feliciano’s Feliz Navidad, The Darkness’ Christmas Time, Elton John’s Step Into Christmas and The Wombles’ Wombling Merry Christmas (yes, really) follow in third, fourth and fifth. 

Slade comes sixth, with Merry Xmas Everybody, followed by Chuck Berry’s Run Rudolph Run, The Jackson 5’s I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus and Mariah Carey’s Christmas follow that.

Christmas driving songs dangerous

As for some of the safest songs to drive to? Santa baby is third, with Silent night in 10th.

Music you drive to shouldn’t exceed more than 60-100bpm, so it’s said, which is the average range of a human heartbeat. Studies have shown that listening to music with a bpm higher than 120 can increase your likelihood to speed and drive dangerously.

Top 10 most dangerous Christmas songs

  • Underneath The Tree – Kelly Clarkson
  • I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard
  • Feliz Navidad – Jose Feliciano
  • Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End) – The Darkness
  • Step into Christmas – Elton John
  • Wombling Merry Christmas – The Wombles
  • Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade
  • Run Rudolph Run – Chuck Berry
  • I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus – The Jackson 5
  • Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) – Mariah Carey

Top 10 safest Christmas songs

  • Carol of the Bells – John Williams, Mykola Dmytrovych Leontovych
  • Christmas Time is Here – Vince Guraldi Trio
  • Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
  • O Tannenbaum (O Christmas Tree) – Tony Bennett
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem – Elvis Presley
  • Medley: Caroling, Caroling / The First Noel / Hark! The Herald Angels Sing / Silent Night – Perry Como
  • The Christmas Waltz – Peggy Lee
  • The First Noel – Frank Sinatra
  • I’ll Be Home for Christas – Bing Crosby
  • Silent Night – Carpenters

Read more:

MINI Christmas Tree Transport Advice

How to transport your Christmas tree by car this weekend

Mini has helpful advice for the thousands planning to buy a real tree