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Boxed in on the road: 7.1 million get behind the wheel in search of a bargain

26 December 2012

  • 14 per cent(1) of UK adults will drive to the sales this Boxing Day
  • Peak time for travel will be Boxing Day morning, with half of drivers who plan to head out for the sales hitting the roads at mid-morning

New Research from Green Flag Breakdown reveals 7.1 million people are set to hit the roads on Boxing Day in search of a post-Christmas bargain. In news that will be welcomed by retailers, this figure is 27 per cent higher than 2011(2) when 5.6 million drivers planned to hit the roads to search of a sales bargain. In total, almost 14 million (28 per cent) people are set to brave the shops this Boxing Day.

Peak time for travel will be 10:30am with half of drivers heading out shopping on Boxing Day by hitting the roads around mid-morning. However, there will also be millions of early birds who will be out to catch a post-Christmas discount with 14 per cent of people heading off to find a deal in the Boxing Day sales before 9:00 am.

A thrifty one in twenty (5 per cent) people have agreed with friends and family to buy presents after Christmas to secure better value gifts. In addition, more than one in seven (14 per cent) UK adults will do more of their shopping than usual in the sales to save money.

Miranda Schunke, spokesperson for Green Flag, said: “When money is tight, people inevitably search out bargains. We anticipate the roads will be extremely busy post-Christmas as people seek out great discounts. Our research shows many drivers will hold off on driving before Christmas so they have more disposable income, much of which we believe will be spent during the Boxing Day sales. People should consider leaving early on Boxing Day to miss the post-Christmas crush on the road. Drivers should also take care in winter weather driving conditions to make sure they reach their destination safety.”

Green Flag’s study also reveals that millions of people intend to have a dry Christmas, with 38 per cent of those who plan to drive to visit the Boxing Day sales abstaining from drinking alcohol on Christmas day. However three per cent of those who plan to drive to visit the Boxing Day sales intend to drink over 16 units of alcohol on Christmas day, the equivalent of 8 pints of regular lager or glasses of wine. These individuals should consider whether they are safe to drive if they get behind the wheel the next day, as they could find themselves over the drink drive limit.

The Welsh are the most likely to head out shopping on Boxing Day and drive their cars to shopping venues in search of a bargain. Residents of the East Midlands are the least likely (11 per cent) to jump in their cars in search of a Boxing Day bargain.

Notes to Editors:

  1. Opinium Research interviewed a representative sample of 2011 people between 30th November – 3rd December 2012
  2. 2011 figures come from a Vision Critical survey of 2,005 people in December 2011

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:

Miranda Schunke
Green Flag Press Office
Tel: 0208 266 3795
Mobile: 07766 472 690

Chris Wilson
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 0207 282 1087