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The £7.8bn Christmas Getaway

By EDF | Posted December 23, 2019
  • Average British motorist set to spend more than £280 on fuel over the festive period – equating to an estimated total fuel cost of more than £7.8bn.
  • Switching to an electric vehicle could save drivers nearly £100 in Christmas costs and reduce their carbon footprint.
  • 12 per cent will not travel by car this festive period due to concerns over the impact of carbon emissions on the environment. 

Brits are facing heavy fuel costs this Christmas, with the average motorist set to fork out over £280 on petrol and diesel over the festive period – equating to more than a whopping £7.8bn[1] collective fuel cost.

New research, commissioned by EDF Energy, revealed that 40 per cent of motorists think petrol and diesel is expensive, but more than a third admit they would struggle without a car over the festive period.

Concerns about the cost of fuel are leading a fifth of motorists to reduce the number of trips they make this Christmas, and an eighth intend to reduce visits to family and friends.

However, the research also revealed that electric car owners will spend on average, just £184.32 on charging their vehicles – a saving of £99.36.

It also showed that the average motorist will travel a minimum of 35 miles on shopping trips, 54 miles visiting relatives and 34 miles attending social events between December 1st and January 1st. And the increased volume of cars on the road creates longer queues, meaning the average motorist expects to spend a total of three hours stuck in traffic over the festive month.

As well as saving money, in order to decrease the negative impact of vehicle emissions on the environment:

  • A sixth of drivers have arranged a lift with someone else travelling to a nearby location.
  • A tenth have booked an alternative mode of transport.
  • An eighth said they don’t even intend to travel over the festive period in order to keep emissions down.

Philippe Commaret, Managing Director for Customers at EDF Energy added: “Christmas is a busy time, and we often spend hours in the car visiting friends and family and running last minute errands. But the extra miles we travel this month can cause fuel costs and carbon emissions to increase. Concerns about cost and the environment are causing some people to restrict their driving this festive period – but by switching to an electric vehicle, motorists could save money and do their bit for the planet.”


  • Almost a quarter of fuel-car drivers would ‘consider’ switching to an electric vehicle if they knew how much money they could save.
  • A third see themselves purchasing an EV within the next year.

To make the transition to electric vehicles hassle-free, EDF Energy offers its GoElectric tariff specifically for charging electric vehicles at home. This 100% renewable electricity tariff offers EV drivers the most hours of off-peak charging, giving 98 hours of reduced rate charging per week (9pm until 7am on weekdays and all day at weekends)[2], with customers also able to lease an electric car and buy a home charger. EDF Energy is the largest producer of low carbon power in the UK and, as part of the EDF Group, is the largest generator of renewable electricity in Europe[3].

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[1] Based on 32,493,300 registered cards on UK roads, minus 14% of survey respondents who do not intend to travel by car this festive season = 27,944,238. Multiplied by x £280 (the average fuel cost over festive period) = £7,824,386,640

[2] Correct as of 13th November, availability of off- peak charging offer dependent on meter

[3] As of 31st December 2018

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