Over 1m drivers this year face the prospect of an unexpected bill for £100 because their breakdown policy does not include home rescue.
The Environmental Transport Association (ETA) estimates that of the 4m drivers who each year buy breakdown cover without home rescue, up to 40 per cent will find themselves in need of the service.
Home rescue can cost as little as £23, but calling on a breakdown service without the cover already in place typically incurs a call-out charge of around £100 plus a charge of £1 per mile should the car need to be towed to a garage.
Director at the ETA, Andrew Davis, said: "Many look to save money in the New Year, but it is when most breakdowns occur, so doing without home rescue can be a false economy. Suffering a breakdown at home is less traumatic an experience than on a motorway, but it will be far more expensive if you do not have adequate cover."
Motorists are most likely to breakdown in the colder winter months, with a flat battery being the number one cause.