How To Transport Your Christmas Tree Safely
Bringing home a fresh Christmas Tree is the highlight of the festive season for many, but if you’re not careful how you plan on transporting your spruce home you may find yourself with a fine!
Goodbye Car has researched just how much not properly transporting your Christmas tree could cost you, and have provided top tips on how to safely transport your tree this festive season.
You may be fined £5000 for incorrectly transporting a Christmas tree
The motoring offence you’re most likely to commit while transporting a Christmas tree is CU50: “Causing or likely to cause danger by reason of load or passengers.” This can result in three penalty points on your driver’s license which can stay on your driving record for 4 to 11 years.
The fine itself is likely to fall under “careless and inconsiderate driving” which is a £5000 discretionary fine in addition to the 3 points – an expensive Christmas tree!
How to safely transport a Christmas tree
Properly transporting a Christmas tree doesn’t have to be a huge worry for motorists.
Goodbye Car’s Operations Manager, Mark Royal, says:
“Driving your Christmas tree home is an important one to get right for the safety of yourself and others, but with the right knowledge, it shouldn’t be a difficult job. Fines can easily be avoided if you properly secure the tree to the roof of your car.”
Here are Goodbye Car’s top tips for the safe delivery of Christmas trees:
1. Buy a netted tree
Most places that sell Christmas trees know to provide the tree wrapped in a net. If they’re not already netted, this is a service you should be able to ask for. Netting the tree makes sure that it’s a much more manageable package to transport!
2. Face the tree stump to the front
It’s unlikely, unless you buy a really small tree, that you’ll be able to fit your Christmas tree in your car. The best way to position the tree on top of your car is lengthways, with the stump facing the front of the car. This limits wind resistance due to the angle of the branches.
3. Use a roof rack
A roof rack is one of the safest ways to attach your Christmas tree to the roof of your car. You’ll need to use bungee cords or ropes to secure the tree tightly to the roof, then tie the ropes to the roof rack. Make sure the tree is secured right from the bottom branches to the tip of the tree.
4. No roof rack? Use your car doors
It’s not the end of the world if you don’t have a roof rack – car doors can be used as another way to safely secure your Christmas tree within the law. Instead of attaching the ropes to a roof rack, open the car doors and tie the ropes inside the car. Once the car doors are closed, it should secure the ropes even further.
5. Attach reflective tags to an overhanging tree
Depending on the size of the tree, your car roof may not be long enough to accommodate it. If this is the case, and the tip of your Christmas tree is hanging over the back of your car, make sure that you attach reflective tags so that other motorists and road users can see how much room to give you.
6. Drive more cautiously than usual
Transporting heavy cargo like a Christmas tree should have an impact on how you drive. Be careful in particular when taking corners and keep well back from other vehicles to avoid braking sharply – both of which could dislodge the tree from your car roof and be classed as driving dangerously.