Thousands of business drivers ignored advance warnings to prepare their cars for the first day back at work, and were forced to call for help.
The past few days have been AA Business Services’ busiest period of the last 12 months for attending breakdowns.
Almost 15,000 drivers had problems starting their cars on January 2, which was 58% more than on a typical Wednesday.
Of that figure, 40% were business drivers facing their first day back at work.
One of the main reasons for call-outs was flat batteries.
Now the AA is urging business drivers and fleet managers to take a number of straightforward steps to avoid facing a battery or electrical problem in the coming weeks.
Avoid running car electrics any longer than necessary – turn the heater fan down and switch the heated rear window off once it is clear.
If the car stands idle for most of the weekend, a regular overnight trickle charge is a good idea to give the battery a chance to revive.
When starting up the car, ensure that non-essentials like lights, the heated rear window and wipers are turned off.
Use the starter in short five-second bursts if the engine doesn’t start quickly, leaving 30 seconds between attempts to allow the battery to recover.
Batteries rarely last longer than five years, so replacing them near the end of their life can save a lot of time and inconvenience at the side of the road when they finally fizzle out.