The great Easter exodus: 22 million people to hit the roads this weekend

  • 1.4 billion miles set to be driven across the UK this Easter weekend
  • 9.1 million people will be driving to airports, the Eurotunnel or ferry terminals to head abroad for the bank holiday
  • Green Flag is forecasting a 20 per cent increase in breakdowns over Easter, which could mean an extra 2,000 breakdowns per day

The UK’s roads are set to be extremely busy this Easter, as nearly 22 million drivers (50 per cent) plan to make the most of the long weekend and travel, reveals new research from breakdown provider Green Flag.

Motorists are expected to drive 1.4 billion miles between Good Friday and Easter Monday.  The average length of a round trip is expected to be 102 miles but over three million people (12 per cent) will be driving 200 miles or more.

Green Flag is urging drivers to be prepared before heading off on a long journey, as the breakdown provider is forecasting a 20 per cent increase in call outs due to increased traffic over Easter. This could mean an extra 2,000 breakdowns over the course of the weekend, which could be even higher in the event of good weather.

Given this is the first bank holiday in over two years with very few travel restrictions, over nine million people will be driving to airports, ferry terminals or the Eurotunnel to go abroad. Other popular Easter trips include visiting friends and family (25 per cent) and going on staycation (21 per cent).

Young people will be leading the Easter exodus, with nearly half (47 per cent) of those under 35 hitting the roads. Young people are also more likely to drive further this weekend, averaging 105 miles.

Damon Jowett, Director of Roadside and Network Services at Green Flag, commented: “People across the country will be looking forward to the first bank holiday weekend of 2022 and, with the weather looking reasonable, it’s no surprise that so many of us plan to hit the road.  

“We want to make sure everyone can enjoy the long Easter weekend 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.”

Regional data

Drivers in London will be making the most of the long weekend with 80 per cent of those getting behind the wheel in the capital planning to travel over Easter. Londoners are also expected to be driving the furthest, averaging 126 miles, which is 24 per cent further than the average distance.  

Table one: Regional breakdown of Easter travel 

Region

Percentage of drivers planning to travel this Easter

Average miles driven this Easter

London

80 per cent

126 miles

North East

52 per cent

116 miles

West Midlands

56 per cent

114 miles

Scotland

51 per cent

109 miles

East Midlands

41 per cent

95 miles

South West

38 per cent

94 miles

South East

42 per cent

93 miles

North West

45 per cent

92 miles

East of England

41 per cent

85 miles

Wales

48 per cent

79 miles

Yorkshire and the Humberside

37 per cent

75 miles

Northern Ireland

50 per cent

66 miles

Source: Green Flag, 2022

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

  • Walk around the car and look for signs of potential issues, including flat tyres or lights that need replacing
  • Have a regular service on your vehicle to ensure your car is at tip top condition for driving and ultimately prolonging the car's overall life span
  • Check your tyres, both for tyre pressure (including the spare if you have one) and tyre tread. Tyres do have their own built-in tread wear indicators, but this can also be checked by using a 20 pence 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, oil, and screen wash with you just in case
  • Make sure you have fuel, if you’re driving a petrol or diesel car ensure you have enough fuel to get you to your destination and back, or plan your fuel stops in advance if you’re going on a longer journey that will require you to refuel your vehicle. If you’re driving an electric vehicle, make sure your car is fully charged before you head off, and try and locate charging points on the route so you’re fully prepared for your journey
  • 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
  • Make sure you have breakdown cover to ensure you’re covered in the event of a breakdown situation.

 

ENDS

 

Notes to editors

1 Research conducted by Opinium among a nationally representative sample of 2,001 adults between 5th – 8th April 2022

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

For further information please contact:

Hayley Fewster

Green Flag PR Manager

Email: [email protected]

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