Drivers are being warned that they could be hit with hefty fines and points on the licence if they donâ€™t transport their Christmas tree safely.
As the country gears up for the festivities and families engage in the annual tradition of picking out a tree, three quarters of drivers admit to being hazy on the rules regarding getting a tree home.
Carrying an unsecured or dangerously loaded cargo is against the law and carries a range of punishment whether the load is building materials or some festive decoration.
Driving an overloaded vehicle carries a spot fine of at least Â£100 and three penalty points but the punishment can be much harsher if police rule that your car is â€œcausing or likely to cause danger by reason of loadâ€. In that situation you could be taken to court and fined up to Â£2,500 as well as getting three penalty points.
According to a poll of drivers by Fiat Professional, 75 per cent of motorists are unaware of the rules regarding transporting Christmas trees safely on the road.
The Highway Code states: â€œYou MUST NOT overload your vehicle or trailer.
â€œYou MUST secure your load and it MUST NOT stick out dangerously. Make sure any heavy or sharp objects and any animals are secured safely.â€
That means strapping it down properly and making sure it doesnâ€™t obscure your vision. If the tree overhangs the vehicle, the Highway Code makes it clear you must attach a reflective flag to the end of it.
The survey found that six per cent of motorists admitted they had transported a tree in a manner which might have broken the rules and an astonishing 25 per cent admit to just â€˜throwing it in the carâ€™ and not securing it.
A further five per cent carry the tree home on the roof of their car, irrespective of whether they have a roof rack, securing it with rope or ratchet straps.
A Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency spokesman said: â€œA dangerously loaded vehicle will incur an instant three penalty points on your licence, along with an uncapped fine.â€