10 Tips for Transporting your Christmas Tree

The festive season really gets underway when you put up your Christmas tree; but, getting it home can be a nightmare. Here’s 10 steps to getting your Christmas Tree home safely, securely and within the law:

  • Measure the space where the tree’s going to go.
  • Fit roof rails or a roof rack.
  • Take a blanket or waterproof sheet with you.
  • Make sure you have bungee cords or rope.
  • Remember to refer to your measurements, not your eyes.
  • Have the tree netted.
  • Lift the tree onto your roof with the stump facing forwards.
  • Wrap the bungee cords round the tree several times.
  • Give the tree a god tug to check it’s secure.
  • Drive carefully, you’re carrying more weight than usual

It’s a much-loved Christmas tradition, the choosing of the Christmas tree; a heart-warming family outing which takes place up and down the land. The careful selection of the tree is seen as the real start of Christmas festivities, but, though we put much thought into this tradition and spend hours finding the bushiest, most Christmas tree shaped tree, we don’t seem to spend as much time thinking through how we’re going to get it home!

If your spatial awareness is as poor as mine, then your quest for the perfect tree may not extend to the fundamental question, ‘will it fit in my house’, never mind will it fit on or in my car! It’s may be the stuff of many a Christmas slapstick moment, but the excitement of finding the perfect tree can blind us to fact it’s too tall, too bushy and all round just too plain big for our home.

Big isn’t always best, and if you’ve chosen perfection over practicality, I’m afraid the difficulty will come before you’ve even attempted to wrangle your tree through your front door and realised that it’s so big it blocks out all daylight and you can’t see your telly, because to get to that point you need to have transported your tree home and that is a whole different ball-game.

If you drive a compact such as a Volkswagen up! or a Citroën C1, or even a standard family hatchback such as a trusty Volkswagen Golf, then transporting your Christmas needs careful planning; even if you’re in an SUV or estate, your quest for perfection can easily lead to a situation where you’re breaking the law and putting your family’s life at risk.

It sounds dramatic doesn’t it? Am I being a killjoy? Well, no I’m not; while peals of laughter as the kids hang out of the car windows hanging onto the tree for dear life may sound like a lot of festive fun, the reality is that if the tree isn’t secured properly or is impairing your view of the road ahead, then you’ve got a problem.

Equally if you get you tree and family home safely but your car’s paintwork is covered in scratches, that’s one Christmas expense you could do without! Even worse, you could be prosecuted if you fail to transport your tree safely. Get your dog-eared copy of the Highway Code out and turn to Rule 98:

Little christmas tree on a toy car

Rule 98

Vehicle towing and loading. As a driver

You MUST NOT overload your vehicle or trailer. You should not tow a weight greater than that recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle

You MUST secure your load and it MUST NOT stick out dangerously. Make sure any heavy or sharp objects and any animals are secured safely. If there is a collision, they might hit someone inside the vehicle and cause serious injury

Think about it and you’ll see that carrying your tree could very easily mean you fall foul of this law; if your tree is on the roof is protruding too far forward and obstructing your view of the road; if you’ve secured your tree too loosely; if you’ve put the rear seats down on your estate or hatchback and the tree is sticking out dangerously.

Any of these and many more could see you with a fine that won’t get your Christmas off to the happiest of starts.

So what can you do to ensure that you, your family and your tree get home safely; firstly, don’t pop into the garden centre or Christmas tree farm on a whim, be prepared:

Measure the space where your tree’s going to go, height and diameter; don’t be tempted to ignore these measurements!

Ideally fit a roof rack or roof rails to your car.

Take a large blanket or waterproof sheet with you; you need this to cover the roof of your car to prevent a thousand scratches appearing from the branches of your chosen tree.

Take something to tie the tree down with; preferably bungee cords, but if you don’t have any, then plenty of rope.


Exercise restraint and common sense, refer to your measurements not your eyes; buy a tree that will fit safely fit on your car, not one that’s going to hang over the bonnet and boot.

Ask the seller to net the tree for you; this will help make it more manageable for you to handle.


Spread the blanket on your roof; lift the tree onto your roof with the stump pointing forwards.

Attach the tree securely by wrapping the bungee cords around the tree a few times before hooking them to the roof rack/rails securely.

Use more than two or three bungee cords, depending on the size of your tree and car; ensure the tree is secure by giving is a good tug before you set off.

Drive carefully as your car will feel and behave differently with the extra weight on-board.

Follow these steps and you’ll get you Christmas tree home safely; unfortunately we have no tips for getting it through your door and into your house without it shedding a thousand needles and putting your back out!

Merry Christmas!

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