The festive season causes the highest number of breakdowns in the whole year, as people try to go back to work on January 2nd only to find that their car won't start after sitting and getting cold in the drive for several days.
Based on research by Green Flag, the Royal Bank of Scotland has revealed that breakdowns are at their highest on the second day of the New Year which is the first day back at work for many people who have been at home for the Christmas break.
According to the research, requests for breakdown recovery reach their peak over the festive period, increasing by 15 per cent overall compared to the rest of the year. Non-starting vehicles are the most common reason for call-outs to breakdown companies, 50 per cent of which are a result of flat batteries.
After non-starters, accidents, problems with the tyres, electrical problems, a lack of fuel, and problems with the exhaust are among the other most common reasons for call-outs.
Abi Clark, spokesperson for Green Flag, comments: "Icy conditions and wet, cold weather means cars are far more likely to break down in winter. Batteries fail more often in these conditions, and the increased use of de-misters, heaters and windscreen wipers places an extra strain on them.
"In addition, people tend to use their cars less over the holiday period while they spend more time at home. To find that your car won’t start on the first day of work can really upset your plans and feel like a bad beginning to the New Year."
To avoid suffering a break down this new year, Green Flag recommends getting your battery tested – which many garages will do for free, performing some basic checks on the brakes, lights and windscreen wipers, and checking the exhaust and radiator for cracks or leaks.
If the fuel tank is kept at least half full, then the petrol line is less likely to freeze and allows the heater to keep running should the car break down. Adapting driving style, such as slowing down and keeping a greater distance from the car in front can help to prevent accidents, and keeping a few essentials in the car, like a mobile phone, warm clothing, bottled water, and an ice scraper, can make drivers more prepared if their vehicles do break down.
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