Every year, millions of drivers take to the roads to drive home for Christmas, dubbed by experts as ‘Frantic Friday’. This year Frantic Friday falls on the 23rd of December, just two days before the big day – here’s how you can stay safe and ensure that you make it home to your family on time this holiday season.


What Is Frantic Friday?

The term ‘Frantic Friday’ has been thrown around for several years and refers to the last Friday before Christmas – the day that traditionally, the workplace breaks for Christmas break. Millions of people take to the roads to travel to their families for the festive period.

For those travelling long distances to visit their loved ones, the Frantic Friday rush may seem daunting – and those who have a shorter journey may be concerned about getting caught in the madness.

Here is everything you need to consider before you begin your Frantic Friday journey, and how to keep things fun.


Our Top Tips Before You Drive Home For Christmas

Check Your Vehicle

Like with any long-distance journey, you should carry out some necessary checks on your vehicle before you take to the road. Check the levels of your engine oil, engine coolant and washer fluids, and replenish them if they are looking low.

Ensure that your tyres are inflated, and the tread depth is correct – don’t forget to check your spare tyre, as well. This is especially important in cold weather, as your tread depth will allow for better grip in icy or overly wet conditions.

Check your lights, too – including your indicators, headlights, brake lights, and fog lights. Change any bulbs that may need replacing so you’re ready for the dark evenings.


Ensure Your Breakdown Cover

Before you set off, be sure of what your breakdown insurance covers, should you need it. If you do end up needing roadside assistance, you’ll want to be sure that there will be no nasty surprises in terms of unexpected costs.

You should be able to find this information in your breakdown cover documents or on your online account. If you are still unsure, phone your breakdown cover provider and speak to a member of the team, who will be able to inform you of your cover level.


Pack The Essentials

Every car should have the basics in the event of an emergency, but it is even more important for long journeys. Your car should always have water, both for your vehicle and for drinking. A first aid kit is a must-have, as are jump leads and tyre puncture repair kits.

It is worth keeping a few high-vis vests or jackets in the car just in case you do break down and need to get out of the vehicle. A torch will save you from draining the battery if you need to use the interior light, and a spare phone charger may be a lifeline in the event of an emergency.

You can read a full rundown of our winter car checklist on our blog.


Plan Your Trip

Even if you’ve done this journey one hundred times before, it is worth planning your journey beforehand. Make sure you’re aware of any roadworks or diversions before you set off so you can plan accordingly.

It is worth noting where the petrol stations and services are along your route, should you need to refuel – both the car and the passengers.

It can be a good idea to print these out, in the event your phone runs out of battery, or you lose your phone connection. It can also be worthwhile to check the weather forecast, so you can prepare for snow or ice if needs be.


Be Aware Of Security

If you do plan on stopping at a service station for a quick pitstop, be aware of what you leave in your vehicle. Chances are it’ll be full of presents for your loved ones – make sure they are out of sight or take it in turns with your passengers to use the services, so the car isn’t left unattended.

Unfortunately, Christmas doesn’t put a stop to crime, and it is better to be safe than sorry. Never leave any mobile phones, sat navs, wallets or anything of value in view of prying eyes.


Remember Your Limits

Of course, this goes without saying all times of the year – never drive after an alcoholic beverage. During the festive season, we all have the tendency to overindulge, and alcohol can take up to 24 hours to leave your body, so think twice about jumping in the car the morning after a heavy night out.

If you partook in a jolly tipple the night before your big Frantic Friday journey, make sure you feel 100% before getting behind the wheel. If you want to be really sure, you can buy portable breathalyser tests from Amazon fairly cheaply. Never take the risk.


Be Prepared

You can never be sure what Frantic Friday might have in store, so it is best to be prepared. Pack a few blankets in the event you find yourself in standstill traffic, or stuck at the side of the road, to preserve your body heat and your car’s battery life.

If you’re travelling with children, be sure to bring something along to entertain them, such as a pre-downloaded Christmas film or their favourite toy – no one wants to play I-Spy for hours on end. Make sure all your devices are fully charged, and a portable charger is always handy to have.


From all of us at BookMyGarage, we wish you a safe and happy Christmas period!