Research by breakdown provider Green Flag claims that 40,000 cars are expected to break down over the upcoming bank holiday weekend – with nearly a quarter of these caused by a faulty battery.
It comes as experts are predicting a ‘carmageddon’ as 20.7 million vehicles hit the roads in an attempt to make the most of the last long weekend before Christmas.
Saturday is likely to be the busiest day, with 5 million getaways planned and delays of more than hour expected in some areas.
Hire company Europcar has added to the concerns – revealing that just 12% of motorists in a car over six years old get it serviced ahead of a long journey. It also discovered that many drivers don’t bother with breakdown assistance.
Europcar UK’s operations director, Robert Shaw, said: “Just one in five (19%) of the people we surveyed are covered by roadside assistance, which means they could be stuck on the hard shoulder this bank holiday weekend.”
Data from Green Flag reveals that its customers wait an average of 47 minutes for rescue every time their car goes wrong – and high demand over the bank holiday could see drivers stranded for hours.
To prevent a breakdown, the company has launched a device which monitors your car’s battery and can alert you using an app if it detects an issue.
The plug-in unit, which costs £35 a year, is the size of a matchbox and can be fitted in minutes.
Green Flag’s head of rescue, Neil Wilson, said: “Although breakdowns can’t be avoided every time, with Green Flag Alert Me, drivers will be saved from unnecessary breakdowns caused by faults they weren’t aware of. Now, we’ll be with them on the whole journey – letting them know about potential issues before they turn into problems.”
10 essential car checks
To prevent a breakdown, Europcar has released this list of 10 essential car checks to complete ahead of a long journey.
1: Top up the fuel
2: Check tyre pressures
3: Check windscreen wash
4: Check oil
5: Top up coolant
6: Check light bulbs
7: Check the car is safely loaded
8: Add any key locations into the sat nav
9: Make sure the car has been recently serviced
10: Check the air con and heating