PURCHASING a Christmas tree is a festive traditional that could lead to drivers unknowingly breaking the law.

Your Red Car, an online used car buying and selling platform, has warned drivers that, by driving your tree home, not only might you be unknowingly breaking several driving laws, but you might also be putting your health and safety at risk.

The motoring offence that drivers could end up committing is offence CU50 - causing or likely to cause danger by reason of load or passengers.

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Motorists could be left with three penalty points and a fine of up to £5,000 for inconsiderate driving – a very expensive Christmas

To help drivers stay on the right side of the law, Your Red Car have four tips for transporting a tree safely:

1. Only take the people who need to go

For safety reasons, only take the people that need to be in the vehicle and ensure there is enough room left for the tree.

You can have windows open, but make sure branches aren’t protruding from the vehicle where they might damage other vehicles or obstruct road users’ views.

Many people aren’t aware that motorists can get a £100 fine for driving with the boot open. 

2. Wrap something around the tree

Most Christmas tree sellers will wrap your tree in netting if you ask them to. If this isn’t an option, cling film or bungee cords can be used to neatly package up the tree and keep the branches under control.

As well as making it easier to transport the tree, this will protect it from damage and ensure flailing branches don’t distract drivers.  

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3. Install a roof rack 

Although more of an investment, people can use a roof rack to transport the tree on. The Highway Code stresses that it’s important that the tree doesn’t stick out dangerously though.

4. Drive better 

Drive cautiously. With an excess load in the car, motorists are more prone to danger. For example, if for some reason a driver had to make an emergency stop, the tree could move and cause injury.

Denton Brock, head of Your Red Car, said: “Drivers need to know the laws and regulations when it comes to carrying heavier loads in order to avoid penalties and fines.

“With the festive season approaching, it’s paramount that drivers know how to avoid being on the wrong side of the law, especially with the ongoing cost of living crisis.

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“The Highway Code and road safety and vehicle rules are available to read on the gov.uk website.” 


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland. She joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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