Around 31 million car journeys will be made over the festive period, according to new RAC Traffic Watch data.
Christmas Eve will be the busiest day with 4.1 million separate journeys, while 7.1 million will be taken across Christmas Day and Boxing Day as motorists leave to spend time with their family and friends.
But with many schools breaking up today, the great Christmas getaway is set to begin in earnest this weekend. There will be 3.3 million journeys taking place on Saturday and a further 3.5 million on Sunday.
Before the big rush, RAC Traffic Watch spokesman Rod Dennis is urging motorists to plan ahead .
"While there are 101 different things to think about before the big day, performing some basic maintenance such as checking oil and coolant levels, and making sure tyres are inflated properly can go a long way towards making the Christmas getaway journey a little smoother," he says.
"With the unseasonable winter warmth will likely come a lot of rain, especially in northern and western parts of the country so we are advising motorists to keep a close eye on the weather forecast, and heed any warnings issued by the Met Office before they set out.
"Motorists may benefit from traffic flows that are more evenly spaced out this year, perhaps as a result of schools breaking up a full week before Christmas Day."
The worst affected roads will be major motorways, including the M25, M5 and M4. The A4 westbound from London will also be busy, as will the A907 westbound towards Clackmannanshire Bridge.
Falling fuel prices should help ease the strain of the getaway. It typically costs £7 less to fill up a petrol family car compared to last year, while diesel drivers are saving at least £8 per tank at the pumps.
Copyright Press Association 2015. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.