Heavy traffic is expected at times this summer, after research revealed almost three-quarters of holidaymakers will use the car to get away amid coronavirus restrictions. With foreign travel made more difficult this year, RAC research suggests the roads will get busier as people holiday in the UK.

According to the RAC’s survey of 2,100 drivers, more than four in 10 (43 percent) already have plans to holiday in the UK this summer, and that figure could rise if people are unable to holiday abroad. Of the 13 percent of drivers who said they would attempt to holiday on foreign soil this summer, almost half (48 percent) said they would holiday in the UK if coronavirus restrictions made their holiday impossible.

Heavy traffic on UK motorway in England

With data showing 19 of the 20 countries most commonly favoured among British holidaymakers are on the government’s red or amber lists, effectively ruling out leisure travel, the RAC says it could be “an extremely busy summer” on UK roads. Of all those expecting to take a holiday this summer, 71 percent said they would use a car to make the journey. Eight percent, meanwhile, said they would use a motorhome or caravan.

While that might be good news for the British tourism industry, the RAC has warned that traffic volumes could rise. And with that, the organisation has urged drivers to make sure their cars are fit and ready to travel, setting out a list of checks that could help prevent unnecessary and holiday-spoiling breakdowns.

“With months of being locked down now behind us there’s a clear and very understandable desire from most people to have a summer holiday of some sort,” said RAC Breakdown spokesman Simon Williams. “For those heading off in the UK this summer it’s very apparent that the car is going to be the transport mode of choice. What’s more, if those who have foreign trips planned can’t take them there is every chance the roads will be far busier than they would be in a normal summer, especially if we’re blessed with good weather as this will cause the number of day trips and weekend breaks to rocket.

“If traffic volumes really do swell this summer, it could turn out to be more important than ever that drivers check their vehicles before setting out to avoid a breakdown at the roadside – oil, coolant and screenwash levels should be checked, and all tyres should free of damage and inflated to the right levels for the load being carried, particularly if the whole family is on board and the car is jam-packed. Anyone who’s put off getting their car fixed or serviced during Covid should take action sooner rather than later to avoid their staycation being spoilt by a breakdown.”

Traffic light trails through city at night in Bristol England