Top 30 best songs to listen to while driving home for Christmas

Three in 10 festive motorists who will be driving home for Christmas say that a suitable playlist is key for such a trip – and have shared the top 30 tracks they are most likely to sing along to in the car.

The Pogues took the top spot for festive road trips this year with their classic 1988 track, “Fairytale of New York”, featuring Kirsty MacColl – after the news that the band's frontman, Shane MacGowan, passed away last month.

Chris Rea's 1986 hit, “Driving Home For Christmas”, came in second, while “Last Christmas”, by Wham!, rounded out the top three.

And other festive favourites on the ultimate driving playlist include “Merry Xmas Everybody” by Slade, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Mariah Carey, and Brenda Lee's “Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree”.

The survey of 2,000 Brits, who will be driving home for the holidays this year, found that 22% will sing along to seasonal songs during their journey – although 27% admit they have received complaints about their Christmas crooning.

The study was commissioned by Škoda to highlight the Canton sound system in the all-electric Enyaq, which can mute music for back seat passengers.

Music psychology lecturer at University of York, Mimi O’Neill, said: “Music has the ability to elicit nostalgia, as it can evoke a strong connection between sound and memory.

“When individuals interact with music, it activates neural networks connected to emotions and memory retrieval, prompting the resurgence of both memories, and the feelings attached to them.

“In particular, Christmas songs often carry sentimental associations with cherished holiday moments, contributing to a nostalgic allure.

“The popularity of this list's top three songs, “Fairytale of New York”, “Last Christmas”, and “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday”, as driving songs during the Christmas season, are unsurprising.

“They exhibit well-crafted and catchy melodies that resonate with a broad audience, providing a musically engaging experience conducive to driving.

“Additionally, their lyrics encapsulate the essence of the holiday season, evoking emotions and themes associated with Christmas – such as love, celebration, and the festive spirit.”

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The research also found a quarter of those polled (26%) will be driving more than 200 miles “home” this Christmas, with 5% driving for eight hours or more.

However, 54% claim to enjoy driving over the festive period, with the perfectly curated Christmas playlist considered more important on a winter road trip than a windscreen scraper, or a phone charger.

Other songs on the ultimate driving playlist include “Step into Christmas”, by Elton John, “Stay Another Day” by East 17, and “Christmas Wrapping”, by The Waitresses.

And despite Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”, and “Let it Snow”, by Dean Martin, being among the most popular seasonal driving tracks, only 31% have experienced snowfall on a Yuletide journey.

Those polled, via OnePoll, also had their say on the ingredients for a bonafide classic festive hit – with a catchy chorus (44%), festive lyrics (35%), and a nostalgic element (33%), considered some of the must-haves.

And eight in 10 (79%), of those who listen to music, claim they have sung along to Christmas songs – and, on average, they know the lyrics word-for-word for three such tunes.


  1. Fairytale Of New York, by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl
  2. Driving Home For Christmas, by Chris Rea
  3. Last Christmas, by Wham!
  4. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday, by Wizzard
  5. Merry Xmas Everybody, by Slade
  6. Do They Know It's Christmas?, by Band Aid
  7. All I Want For Christmas Is You, by Mariah Carey
  8. Step Into Christmas, by Elton John
  9. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, by Bruce Springsteen
  10. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year, by Andy Williams
  11. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, by Brenda Lee
  12. Stay Another Day, by East 17
  13. White Christmas, by Bing Crosby
  14. Mary's Boy Child, by Boney M
  15. Happy Xmas (War Is Over), by John Lennon and Yoko Ono
  16. It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas, by Perry Como and The Fontane Sisters
  17. Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!, by Dean Martin
  18. Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy, by Bing Crosby and David Bowie
  19. Wonderful Christmastime, by Paul McCartney
  20. Feliz Navidad, by José Feliciano
  21. Winter Wonderland, by Michael Bublé
  22. Lonely This Christmas, by Mud
  23. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, by Frank Sinatra
  24. Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End), by The Darkness
  25. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, by Jackson Five
  26. Christmas Wrapping, by The Waitresses
  27. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, by Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters
  28. In Dulci Jubilo, by Mike Oldfield
  29. Jingle Bell Rock, by Bobby Helms
  30. Santa Baby, by Eartha Kitt

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