The RAC is warning drivers to take caution this weekend as nearly nine million vehicles are expected to hit the road for the summer holiday.

Data from RAC Traffic Watch shows the peak of the weekend’s travel will be on Saturday 22 July with 3.4 million vehicles taking to the road. Approximately 2.5 million cars are expected on the roads on Friday, while 2.8 million leisure drivers are expected on Sunday.

Based on the travel plans of over 3,100 UK motorists, the RAC predicts there will be as many as 36.5 million leisure journeys made over the 17-day period beginning from this Friday, 21 July. However no one day will see more holiday traffic than this Saturday, 22 July, which marks the beginning of the six-week summer school holidays for most families.

“This weekend will bring unwelcome customary chaos to Britain’s major roads as people flock to take advantage of the first week or two of the summer holidays on home soil,” said RAC traffic spokesman Rod Dennis.

“While not as busy as Easter which is typically the pinnacle of leisure traffic due to it being the first break for several months, the Great British summer holiday getaway begins with an initial rush for the roads this weekend as that’s when the majority of schools break up. But, unlike any other time of year, the country’s major tourist routes will remain steadily busy through the rest of the six weeks, never more so than at the weekend with traffic toing and froing from major holiday locations.”

Mr Dennis recommends travelling when the vast majority of motorists aren’t – very early in the morning or late in the evening.