1.7 billion miles set to be driven this half term

  • 13.2 million people (25 per cent) are planning a long car journey this half term
  • Sunday 13th February will see 1.8 million Brits hit the road – the busiest day for half term travel
  • Green Flag urges drivers to check their vehicles before setting off due to an anticipated spike in breakdowns over the first weekend of half term

This half term, motorists across the UK are set to drive a total of 1.7 billion miles on long car journeys1, reveals new research2 from breakdown provider Green Flag. The average length people will travel on their journey is 252 miles (126 miles each way). One in six (16 per cent) plan to drive for 200 miles or more to reach their destination.

Green Flag is urging drivers to be prepared before heading off on a long journey, particularly this weekend when millions of others also plan to hit the road. Sunday 13th February is the most popular day for travelling and will see 1.8 million drivers on the roads (14 per cent), followed by Saturday 12th (1.5 million, 12 per cent) and Friday 11th February (1.4 million, 11 per cent).

Green Flag predicts a six per cent rise in the number of breakdowns on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th February, which could equate to nearly 1,000 more breakdowns than the average day3.

Over 13 million (25 per cent) people are planning to pack up the car for a road trip this half term, with the most popular reasons for travel being UK holidays (nine per cent), to visit friends and family (eight per cent) or for holidays abroad (five per cent).

Mark Newberry, Commercial Director at Green Flag, commented: “Families across the country will no doubt be looking forward to a half term break with more freedom to travel and enjoy themselves. We expect the roads to be very busy this weekend, so anyone who doesn’t have fixed plans may wish to consider travelling on a weekday or at least during quieter times of day, such as early in the morning.

“We want to make sure families can enjoy the half term without any added stress or complications, so we’re urging drivers to make sure their vehicles are road trip ready. We know that many breakdowns are avoidable if the proper care is taken before and during a trip, so it’s important to thoroughly check vehicles before setting off and be prepared in case a breakdown does happen.”

Green Flag recommends drivers follow these easy steps when preparing for a long car journey:

  • Walk around the car and look for any signs of potential issues, including flat tyres or lights that need replacing
  • Check tyres, both for tyre pressure (including the spare) and tyre tread. Tyres do have their own built-in tread wear indicators, but this can also be checked by using a 20pence coin; if the outer band on the coin is visible when placing the coin in the groove between the treads, it means they’ve worn too low, and the tyres need replacing.
  • Check all fluid levels, making sure to top up if necessary and carrying water and screen wash with you just in case
  • Make sure your phone battery is topped up prior to your journey and pack a portable charger. In the event of a breakdown, using an in-car phone charger without the engine running can flatten a car battery in a very short space of time
  • Pack warmer clothes as it’s likely to be cold during the half term. Always keep some warm clothes, a rug, and some comforting snacks in the car in case you get stuck
  • Keep children entertained, both during a long journey and in case you do break down, consider packing travel games, tablets, books, and small toys
  • Make sure you have breakdown cover to ensure you’re covered in the event of a breakdown situation.



Notes to editors

1 A long journey is classed as a journey that takes an hour or longer

2 Research conducted by Opinium among a nationally representative sample of 2,000 adults between 28th January and 1st February 2022

3 Analysis of projected roadside assistance call-out rates based on historic Green Flag data for February. Rates assume similar historic weather patterns affecting travel.

For further information please contact:

Kate Burns

Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 020 7025 6567

Hayley Fewster

Green Flag PR Manager

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 07837 007224

About Green Flag

With over 50 years' experience, Green Flag provides customers with breakdown cover 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Customers have access to a network of breakdown operators across the UK and mainland Europe (Euro Plus cover required).

Green Flag is underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. 

Green Flag and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. 

Customers can find out more about Green Flag products or get a quote by calling 0345 246 1557, connecting via the Green Flag Rescue Me Application, or visiting www.greenflag.com