Those reindeer antlers on your car are a drag, literally

You’ve likely seen cars and trucks driving around this holiday season bedecked with antlers, bows or other Christmas-Y decorations.

While there is no doubt these rolling signs of the season are festive, according to a report in USA Today, they aren’t so economical.

The study shows that adding holiday items to a vehicle creates more surface for wind resistance, leading to poorer gas mileage.


•Reindeer antlers and Rudolph’s nose create about a 1-mile-per-gallon decrease in highway fuel efficiency and a 3% increase in drag coefficient — commonly understood as air resistance.

•A roof-mounted bow creates a 3.5-mpg decrease in highway fuel efficiency and a 15% increase in drag coefficient.

•A Christmas tree tied to a roof creates a 30% decrease in highway fuel efficiency and a 70% increase in drag coefficient. Air pushes against a tree with about 90 pounds of force.

•A grille-mounted wreath has no impact on aerodynamics but may reduce cooling airflow to the engine.

But who can put a price on holiday spirit, right?