The country's RAC patrols reveal their weirdest and wackiest call-outs .
Animal-related breakdowns top the list, with nearly three-quarters (71%) of RAC patrols attending a breakdown involving pets, wild animals or birds.
They include a close encounter with an alligator, to animals inhabiting bonnets, engines and dashboards.
Dogs are frequent offenders most commonly locking their owners out of the vehicle, especially on petrol forecourts, by activating the locks with their paws.
Swallowing the keys, chewing the wires, eating the upholstery and steering wheel are the next most common dog-related callouts.
One patrol even recovered a member who kept their dog’s ashes in the car as a permanent memorial.
As well as mischievous pooches, patrols also approach steamed up windows with care as nearly one in three patrols (31%) report encountering amorous couples on arrival at a breakdown scene.
The top ten
- A patrol called out to a car that wouldn’t start discovered the cuplrits; a family of rats living in the fuse box, who had chewed through all the wires.
- One RAC member was mystified as to why they couldn’t unlock their car. On arrival, the patrol had to break it gently that they had the wrong car.
- One member was trying to protect rather more than his car – he had broken down at the side of the road with over £80,000 in cash in his boot.
- A patrol had to make it snappy when a van taking an alligator to a zoo broke down. Another speedy patrol helped restart a transporter taking a cheetah to a zoo before it was dinner time.
- A hapless groom nearly didn’t marry his bride when he locked the wedding rings in his car – thankfully the RAC patrol saved the day just moments before the ceremony.
- A £30,000 violin had to be rescued by a RAC patrol from a jammed seatbelt so that it’s musical maestro owner could get to a concert in time.
- A kitten being driven to his new home panicked on arrival and escaped into the dashboard of the vehicle. An RAC patrol undertook the rescue, dismantling the entire dashboard, and recovering the kitten safely. Similar callouts have involved snakes, mice and hamsters.
- On opening the back of a broken down van, a patrol was startled by 17 pairs of eyes staring back at him belonging to a cast of falcons.
- One RAC patrol rescued a referee on his way to a crucial league football match, just hours before the game was due to kick off.
- An RAC patrol rescued a police car, stuck up to its windows in mud having chased a runaway criminal across a ploughed field.