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Holiday drivers should check ahead – but one in seven won’t

posted on 28/06/2023
Holiday drivers should check ahead – but one in seven won’t

New research and analysis from Kwik Fit, the UK’s leading automotive servicing and repair company, reveals that 17.6 million Brits are going on summer holiday by car this year1.  However, although they will cover an average of 400 miles (a distance as far as from the New Forest to Berwick-upon-Tweed), one in seven drivers (14%) will make no checks on their car before setting off.

Over a quarter (28%) of drivers won’t check their tyre pressures and over half (57%) will not assess the tyre tread.  With forecasters predicting heatwaves through the summer, the two thirds (66%) of drivers who don’t check their coolant could be storing up trouble. In addition, only one in six (17%) drivers check their air conditioning, a feature which could provide welcome relief in blistering conditions in the summer holidays.

Kwik Fit is not only highlighting the importance of checks, but also in making sure these are carried out in plenty of time before holiday journeys.  The company forecasts that Monday 17 July could be the fifth busiest single day for garages in the last four years, as drivers planning for the school holiday getaway realise at the last minute that their cars need work.2 (The company predicts demand to be behind only four individual days during the post-lockdown Christmas holiday period of 2022.)

Over the last four years, Kwik Fit has seen demand on the last Monday of the English school term rise by 49% compared to the typical daily figure across the rest of the year.  With average daily servicing and repair enquiries now up by 21% on pre-pandemic figures, drivers who wait until the last week to get work done are likely to find garages very busy.

Although the average summer holiday trip is 400 miles, some 3.6 million Brits will be covering more than 500 miles.  These high milers will drive an average of 984 miles, the equivalent of a return trip from Oxford to Aberdeen.  Kwik Fit is reminding drivers covering significant mileage of the importance of carrying out checks for their return journeys as well as their outbound trip.  Nearly two in five drivers (39%) say they don’t make any checks before their return journey.  Even among the high mileage group, 29% say they don’t carry out any checks before setting off back home

Source: Research for Kwik Fit, June 2023

Roger Griggs, communications director for Kwik Fit, said: “Our research shows that a huge number of drivers will be hitting the road for their summer holidays this year.  Even with the cost of living crisis many people need a break and are finding that going by car is their most cost effective travel option.  Our data indicates that the run up to the end of term could see one of the single busiest days for garages in the last four years.  We encourage car owners to make their checks well in advance and give themselves time to get any problems sorted before setting off.  As well as avoiding the stress of a last minute scramble to get their car ready for the road, drivers will be better able to take advantage of any special offers available for work they need doing.

“It is also important for drivers to make sure their car is in peak condition for their return journeys.  Many people will be covering significant mileage on their trips, so carrying out key checks before setting off back home could avoid an unwelcome end to the holiday.”

For advice on pre-travel checks, drivers can find a wide range of information at For the latest news and updates from Kwik Fit, customers can also follow the company on Twitter at @kwik_fit.

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