School holidays bring joy to commuters

More than two fifths (42%) of commuters are taking some time off over the school holidays – freeing UK roads of 10.9 million cars 

Week commencing 7th August will be the quietest commute, as 4.2 millionii fewer people plan on driving to work this week.
Over the school holidays, commuters can shave an average of 25 minutes a weekiii off their drive time – that’s 150 minutesiv extra time enjoying the summer holidays.
Three quarters (76%) of commuters find their drive to work is quicker during the school summer holidays.
Nearly two thirds (65%) of commuters look forward to the school holidays because their drive to work is a lot easier.

School’s out for summer, and no doubt commuters are enjoying a break from the usual rush-hour traffic – as parents, teachers and other workers have ditched their morning drive to work.

Recent research by reveals more than two in five (42%) motorists who use their car to get to work are staying home at some point during the school summer holidays. This will relieve the roads of 10.9 millioni cars throughout the course of the six-week break. It is without doubt this is bringing much joy to regular commuters who face a 27-minute average commute each day. The research by the car savings experts found drivers will save 25 minutes on average per week, which will leave them with 150 minutes’iv spare time to enjoy the British summer over the holiday period.

Those who are still setting off on their daily drive to work might look forward to next week (commencing 7th August) in particular. This is expected to be the quietest period of the six-week break, with nearly two fifths (39%) of commuters – equivalent to 4.2 millionii cars – leaving work behind to enjoy some time off during this week.

It could be said that commuters are much better off while the schools are on break, with the lower volume of traffic during the busy morning and evening rush hours. Many may also find themselves getting home that little bit earlier than usual, as the average journey time is reduced by 5 minutes, compared to when schools are openiii

And it seems school-term traffic can be too much for some commuters, with more than one in seven (15%) saying they take public transport when it’s not the school holidays as traffic is too bad. Some commuters also find their drive to work gets them off to a bad start, with nearly one third (30%) of those driving into work saying they often arrive feeling stressed out from their commute. With this in mind, it is unsurprising that nearly two thirds (65%) of commuters look forward to the school holidays because their commute is a lot easier.

It seems many people are making the most of their time off, with one in two (50%) saying they are going on holiday either in or outside the UK. However, more than two thirds (68%) are still expecting to be running their kids around. Although, with the dread of rush-hour traffic, those staying home should consider travelling later in the day to give commuters a break from busy roads, and keep their own travel time to a minimum.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at, said: “Everyone looks forward to the summer holidays, whether it’s because they are going away, having time off work, or in commuters’ case, there will be less traffic on the roads.

“With more than two fifths (42%) of regular commuters taking time away from work, roads will be much quieter during peak travelling times, which will give other drivers a break from the usual bad traffic.

“Undoubtedly, those who are off work will still want to get out and about in their car, and so they should. But we recommend they consider planning their journey for a quieter time of day, so they don’t get caught up in the rush-hour traffic themselves.”


Notes to editors

Unless otherwise stated, all figures taken from omnibus research carried out by One Poll research on behalf of This was an online poll of 2,000 UK adults who drive (nationally representative sample). The research was conducted between 14th July 2017 and 18th July 2017.

I. Department for Transport figures show there are 45.5 million driving licence holders in Britain (Sept 2014) – according to our research 57% of which commute to work in their car (25,935,000). 42% of these say they will not being commuting at some point during the school holidays term. 42% of 25,935,000= 10,892,700, rounded up to 10.9 million.
II. 39% of the 10,892,700 commuters who won’t be travelling to work during week commencing 7th August. 39% of 10,892,700 = 4,248,153, rounded down to 4.2 million
III. The average commute during term times takes 27 minutes. The average commute during the summer holidays takes 22 minutes. 27-22 = 5 minutes difference. Multiplying this by 5 (average working week) = 25 minutes per week.
IV. 25 minutes saved per week x 6 weeks = 150 minutes over the summer holidays

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