WITH many of us getting ready for the festive feeling, the debate on when to install your Christmas tree is one that comes up every year.

For most people, the bigger, the better, but car insurance experts at Uswitch have found that driving your tree home for Christmas could either invalidate your insurance, or land you with a £300 fine.

A recent survey by the RAC identified that 75% of people don't know the rules around transporting their trees home in their cars.

We have created a 'rule of thumb' list to help drivers pick out the most suitable size trees to fit in their cars, so that they can stay safe on the road this Christmas.

Uswitch's guide to transporting Christmas trees in the car

• If the tree overhangs more than a metre, then we suggest attaching reflective load markers - or similar - to ensure it’s clearly visible in all weathers and lights, especially as winter can be dark and misty.

• If you’ve chosen a particularly bushy tree this year, then make sure it does not overhang the side of your car by more than 30cm (11.8inches). A good rule of thumb is, if it surpasses your wing mirror, then it’s most likely obscuring the driver's vision on the road, and therefore could be illegal.

• Even using a roof rack can pose danger, so generally it's best to avoid this method of transport, as any parts of the tree sticking out can obscure the drivers' vision.

• If you really want to bring home the biggest, busiest tree then opt for hiring a trailer to attach to the back of your car, as this is the safest option

Florence Codjoe, Uswitch car insurance expert said: "While the lead up to Christmas can be exciting, it’s important to stay focused on the road, so that you don’t get caught making a small mistake that could have a big impact.

"Not many people know that things such as decorating your car, turning the engine on to heat it up - or using it to transport big items (such as Christmas trees or large presents) could all see claims rejected should something happen - or even put you at risk of receiving an on-the-spot fine.

"We recommend keeping the decorations out of your vehicle as well as reading the GOV website for any regulations that might be applicable to your Christmas transport requirements."