Rules For Transporting A Christmas Tree On Your Car

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and it’s here again already. Well, if you were to walk into any major supermarket or garden centre, you probably thought it was here several months ago… but there’s one festive feature that we don’t see in the shops until we’re close to the end of November, and that’s the Christmas tree. Real or artificial, they’re present in households all over the world as soon as December rolls around, but how do they get there? After all, most Christmas trees are neither slender or short enough to fit inside the average European car boot. Allow us to explain how to get your new Christmassy companion home without breaking any rules of the road.

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Can You Tie A Christmas Tree To The Roof Of Your Car?

Yes, you are legally allowed to tie a christmas tree to the roof of your vehicle to transport it from the shop or farm to wherever it’s going to be displayed. However, there are several rules around doing this to ensure the safety of yourself and other road users. We’ll break the safe & legal method down step-by-step a little further down the page. Since trees are incredibly heavy, it’s important that you abide by them – any negligence could result in serious injury and punishment against you if you’re to blame.

What Happens If Your Christmas Tree Falls From Your Car?

Several things could happen in this situation, and none of them are good outcomes. First off, there’s a good chance that your tree will end up looking like someone’s taken another axe to it. That will put a damper on your Christmas spirit.

Secondly, and most importantly, your tree is going to become an extremely dangerous obstacle, tumbling down the road, bouncing unpredictably, while other cars zip past it at speed. Not to mention, it might also pose a threat for cyclists or pedestrians who will almost certainly be facing a spell in hospital (or worse) should an errant Christmas tree fly into them. If that happens, it goes without saying that you are going to be in some serious, serious trouble.

Dangerous driving carries some severe punishment, and that’s the case even if you don’t injure someone. Should your tree fall from your car roof but nobody is hurt, you could still end up with points on your licence and a fine, which will certainly hit harder right before Christmas.

Can Anyone Drive With A Christmas Tree On Their Car?

Technically-speaking, anybody can indeed drive with a Christmas tree on their car. The restrictions don’t pertain to the driver themselves, but rather to their vehicle. The size of the tree should reflect the size of the car. For example, if you’re looking to buy a massive, 8-feet tall beast of a Christmas tree, you’re not going to be able to safely transport it back on the roof of a VW Up.

Any overhang, whether that’s out over the rear of the car or above the windscreen and bonnet, should either be appropriately marked with high-vis signage (like you’d see on large lorries) or avoided entirely, depending on the specific situation. If the tree is too long, it simply won’t be able to sit securely on your roof and it may even impact the performance of your car, increasing braking distances and reducing handling ability.

How To Transport A Christmas Tree Safely  

Now, we’re going to explain how to get your tree home in one piece. There are actually a few considerations to take into account before you get to the shop or farm that you’re purchasing your new tree from, though. Those are included in our list, too:

  • Measure the room you’re going to stand the tree in, then measure your car. This will allow you to judge which size tree you can realistically fit.
  • Ask for the tree to be ‘netted’ when you buy it. Most places, especially garden centres or Christmas tree farms, will offer this service as standard.
  • Cover the tree in some kind of tarp or blanket, or alternatively, lay one out across the roof of your vehicle.
  • Always place the tree on the roof of your car with the stump facing forwards as this will make it more aerodynamic. Placing it the other way around could cause the branches to burst open on your way home and begin acting like a parachute!
  • Use bungee cords or strong ropes to tie the tree to the roof, running the lines through the doors, not through your open windows. The closed doors will help secure the tree in place.
  • If the tree does overhang, but not enough to be illegal, attach something reflective like a hi-viz vest to the end of it.
  • Drive slower and more carefully than you usually would.

And there you have it. Your brand new Christmas tree, home at last. If you’re ready for a new car to go with it, get a quote for your old, unwanted or damaged vehicle now from Scrap Car Comparison. We’ll track down the best offers from scrap and salvage specialists in your local area in as little as 30 seconds, and you won’t even have to worry about any hidden fees; the collection of your car will be included as standard! So give us a call on 03333 44 99 50 or use our scrap car price calculator to get your vehicle valued now!

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