With research finding that one in four Brits (26%) listen to Christmas tunes in the car during the festive season, we've created the 'Ultimate Driving Home For Christmas Playlist’ – ideal for those who are ready to get into the holiday spirit.
To identify the most common festive-themed tracks on Spotify, cinch scoured 997 playlists and a whopping 105,418 songs that mentioned ‘Christmas’ and ‘Driving’.
All I Want for Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey
Driving Home for Christmas – Chris Rea
Last Christmas – Wham!
It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year – Andy Williams
It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas – Michael Bublé
Santa Tell Me – Ariana Grande
Underneath the Tree – Kelly Clarkson
Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree – Brenda Lee
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! – Dean Martin
The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You) – Nat King Cole
Sam Sheehan, our motoring editor here at cinch, said: “Driving home for Christmas to spend precious time with your loved ones is one of the highlights of the winter season.
“Whether you’re cruising south or north of the border, you need the ultimate festive playlist to get you into the cheery mood – and yes, we’ve done all the work for you!
“So, turn on the stereo and hit the road with some Christmas classics.”
Mariah Carey, the unofficial queen of Christmas, tops this festive playlist leaderboard with All I Want for Christmas Is You.
Released in 1994, this iconic tune was the first holiday song in recorded music history to receive an RIAA Diamond certification, which recognises the sale of 10 million copies of a single or album.
Sam says: “Thanks to its global popularity, it’s perhaps no surprise that All I Want for Christmas Is You is the festive song that features the most in Christmassy playlists for long drives.
“Mariah Carey’s hit appeared in 723 playlists, making it an unmissable tune for winter road trips at the wheel of your used VW or BMW.”
Driving Home for Christmas, a 1988 hit for British singer Chris Rea, clinches the second spot in our merry list, featuring in 425 Christmassy playlists on Spotify.
Is there a more appropriate song for anyone travelling to spend Christmas with their family?
Interestingly, Rea wrote the song 10 years before it was actually released. The now-famous chorus came to him as he was driving back to Middlesbrough to enjoy the Christmas holidays with his loved ones.
Although not a massive hit to begin with, Driving Home for Christmas gained traction over the years and is now a Christmas favourite among motorists all over the UK.
Last Christmas by Wham! is the third-most popular festive song for drivers, appearing in 349 Christmassy playlists.
Recorded in 1984, this well-loved tune was written by George Michael in his old bedroom at his parent’s house in a moment of pure inspiration.
Sam said: “The original Last Christmas recording takes the final spot on our podium, giving Wham! a well-deserved third position in our festive music list.
“Bear in mind that the remastered version is a frequent sing-along tune, too, featuring in 117 playlists and making it a top-40 Christmas hit for motorists.”
Just falling short of a place in the top three, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year is another traditional tune that’s best enjoyed on a snowy trip home to friends and family.
Made famous by Andy Williams in 1963, this Christmas classic can put anyone into a joyful spirit, no matter how long the journey is.
The energetic instrumental intro pops up in 322 merry playlists on Spotify, granting it a well-earned fourth place in our celebratory music table.
From chiming bells and festive carols to children’s toys and glistening snow, It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas has it all – no wonder it’s the fifth-most popular song in festive season playlists for travelling motorists.
While first recorded by Bing Crosby back in 1951, Spotify playlists seem to favour Michael Bublé’s more recent rendition, with the Canadian singer’s version featuring in 322 compilations.
Bublé revived this 1950s evergreen in 2011 and, to date, it’s the artist’s most listened-to track on Spotify, with more than 800 million streams.
Does your favourite festive song make this special list? If you’re in search of some inspiration for your own drive home for Christmas, check out what tunes you should add to your sing-along queue.