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.