Undeterred by high fuel prices, the weakened euro and the inevitable queues, 1 in 5 motorists in Ireland say they plan on driving across the border to do some Christmas shopping this year.
Despite evidence by 'Retail Ireland' that cross-border shopping is abating in 2010; the results of an AA Motor Insurance poll indicate that 20% will hop in their cars to take a shopping trip in Northern Ireland between now and Christmas. A further 6% said that they will do some or all of their Christmas shopping elsewhere in the UK.
As always cross-border shopping proved a contentious issue among respondents with some labelling the practice as unpatriotic. Inversely a number of people argued that Southern prices are driving them across the border as they strive to make their 2010 Christmas Euro go further.
Others admitted to keeping an eye on the fluctuating exchange rate before making up their minds.
More positively, 63% of respondents in the AA Motor Insurance poll said that they will do their shopping locally this Christmas.
On a lighter note, shoppers wracking their brainas for the ultimate Christmas gift for the petrol heads in their lives can take inspiration from the AA's top 10 motoring gift guide.
The list, as voted for by more than 6,500 respondents of the AA Motor Insurance poll, highlights a clear preference for practical gifts over non-essential gadgets this year.
Top 10 Gifts for Motor Enthusiasts:
A full car valet
An AA Car Service* (www.aaireland.ie/AA/Vehicle-checks/AA-Car-Servicing.aspx)
Car reversing set (incl. sensors & rear-view camera)
A hands-free phone kit
A car head rest DVD player for back seat passengers
A mobile phone & media player car charger
A nodding Rudolf for the back window
A car cooler bag
Some furry dice
Following car maintenance gifts, a hands-free phone kit is the third choice among ladies who like to talk whereas men opted for the car reversing set.
Women are slightly more receptive to receiving a nodding Rudolf for their back window than men, however, neither sex shows much enthusiasm for the 1980's favorite, the furry dice.
Continuing in the vein of sensible gifts, AA members can exclusively avail of a special €99 AA Membership Christmas offer between now and Christmas. Further details are available from the AA at 01 617 9977.
*AA Car Servicing is currently available in the Dublin & Greater Dublin area.