Drivers rush to get cars checked ahead of holiday road trips

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — With Christmas just a few days away, car repair shops are seeing a big boost to business.

Care Care Inc. in Birmingham has seen a boost. Dennis DeShazo says they’ve noticed a pattern, more people wait until the week before or a couple days before a holiday to make sure their cars are in tip top shape for the trip.

DeShazo says most of those people are asking for an overall safety check.

“That’s usually the main concern when they bring it in right before the holiday and we usually always find something that could’ve made them have a bad trip,” he said.

DeShazo says the shop will usually see another wave of customers coming in to get their cars checked out next week ahead of New Year’s trips. He says waiting to the last minute probably not a good idea, but either way, make sure you get your car checked out before a big trip.

“Check your belts, your coolant that it can withstand the cold temperatures this time of year, tire pressure, obviously safety stuff like your lights, tail lights, brake lights,” he said.

AAA plans to rescue more than 980,000 drivers this holiday period, mostly for flat tires and dead batteries. Overall, AAA expects 93.6 million people will drive for their year-end holiday travel this year.

Experts credit the %1.5 increase with relatively lower gas prices and increased consumer optimism.

According to GasBuddy analysts, gas prices in Birmingham are 25 cents higher than they were this time last year. Gas prices have only risen 1 cent in the past week, averaging about $2.02 a gallon.

Thanks to last month’s crude oil production cuts, experts say gas prices will likely inch up through the new year, but should level out starting mid-January.

AAA says gas prices on New Year’s Day will likely be higher than the average on January 1, 2016.

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