Petrol and diesel owners told best day to drive home for Christmas to save money

Petrol and diesel owners can beat the queues and save on the pennies at the fuel pump by travelling home for Christmas at certain times, according to experts. 

Sam Sheehan, motoring editor at cinch, has selected Monday December 18 as the best time to travel from some of the UK’s biggest cities. 

Those heading away from London should be able to cover 10km in just 10 minutes and 10 seconds on this date. 

Meanwhile, road users heading out of Bristol, Manchester, Cardiff, Leeds could also get the best of the traffic conditions by leaving at 5am on the 18th.

This is also the best time to travel home for those based in Coventry, Reading, Newcastle, Portsmouth, Glasgow, Swansea and Middlesbrough.

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Mr Sheehan said: “Based on our findings, across the whole of the UK, the least congested time to travel between December 18 and December 24 is likely to be Monday 18 at 5am.

“If you’re a Reading resident, you’ll be happy to know that leaving the town on Monday morning is predicted to be a more seamless experience than in any other location in the UK.

“In fact, hitting the streets at 5am will allow you to cover a 10km stretch in an average seven minutes and 49 seconds.

“Alternatively, the early mornings of Tuesday 19 and Thursday 21 are a good option, too.

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“If you live in Preston and turn on the engine at 4am on Thursday 21, our research says you’re likely to be able to cover 10km in less than seven minutes. This makes it the best UK city for congestion-free driving in the build-up to Christmas.”  

According to cinch, road users with long festive journeys will have to pay more in fuel costs than usual. 

Experts at Michelin warn that sitting idle in traffic can be costly with around 0.8 litres of fuel burned per hour. 

Meanwhile, accelerating and braking regularly can also play a major role with consumption up by almost 90 percent on motorways and 175 percent in urban areas. 

Drivers in Middlesbrough lose an average of £54 per year in petrol on congested roads every year. 

However, a staggering £5 of this purely comes from traffic in December and around Christmas. 

Motorists in Newcastle and Coventry can expect to use £6 worth of fuel waiting in traffic around the holidays.

London motorists will face the highest fuel bill with around £17 worth of petrol and diesel burned in December alone.

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