Fleet News

Today could be busiest day for breakdowns, according to The AA

Today is expected to be one of the busiest of 2017 for car breakdowns as many vehicles which were left unused over the festive period are called back into service for the first commute of the year.

The AA expects to attend more than 14,000 call-outs – 41% busier than the average Tuesday– and it will have extra patrols on duty.

On the equivalent day last year (Monday 4 January 2016), the AA was called to more than 7,000 vehicles that wouldn’t start or had a flat battery.

John Snowling, AA patrol of the year, said: “The first working day back in January is one of the busiest days of the year for breakdowns, with flat batteries and flat tyres the main culprits.

“A third of households have more than one car but over Christmas, only one tends to get used for visiting friends and family or to hit the Boxing Day sales. The main commuter car often gets left unused, which means problems go unnoticed until it’s time to head back to work.

“Cold conditions cause the power output of the battery to drop and shorter journeys tend to drain your battery’s energy faster. To get a good charge in time to start up the commute, try to drive your car a couple of times for at least half an hour each trip. Check the tyres over the weekend and get any punctures repaired before the rush back to work.”

In 2016, around one in five breakdowns were due to starting problems - but today, especially following freezing conditions over much of the UK, this this is expected to rise to one in three.

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


  • Richard Bartley - 04/01/2017 08:14

    Indeed it was a rescue and recovery required for me, a good start to 2017. Unfortunately hit a pothole in the dark and wrecked my tyre. Reported it, as it was clearly dangerous and outside an infant's school, and the council fixed it by lunchtime. If I'm lucky I might be able to claim my costs back from the council, who I have some sympathy for. With budgets slashed and under pressure, all they can do is patch the roads temporarily and hope these incidents don't happen. These patches don't last the winter, and I know in my case this road has been patched multiple times in the last 12 months.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee