Where your car is most likely to break down

Where your car is most likely to breakdown

You’re more likely to break down on the M1 than any other major road in England.

That’s according to the results of a Freedom of Information request sent to Highways England. With 32,152 breakdowns in the past 12 months, the motorway is a cauldron of trouble for the nation’s motorists.

Overall, Highways England has responded to nearly 800,000 incidents on the strategic road network since 2014, with the M1 accounting for 140,000 incidents.

This isn’t entirely surprising, given that the M1 is one of the country’s busiest motorways. A massive 184,000 vehicles use the stretch between Redbourn and Hemel Hempstead alone.

M1 motorway sign

The M1 also stretches 200 miles from London to Hook Moor near Leeds, so there are plenty of opportunities for motorists to run into trouble.

As Highways England points out, the frequency of breakdowns is linked to the length of motorway and traffic flow. Which is why the M25 and M6 are the other breakdown hotspots.

Big problems caused by simple issues

car breakdown

Research shows that HALF of all breakdowns are caused by simple mechanical problems, while a QUARTER are caused by tyre problems. Highways England has the following advice for drivers hoping to avoid adding to the breakdown statistics.

  • Tyres: check the pressures and the condition of your rubber, while making sure the tyres have the minimum tread depth of 1.6mm
  • Engine oil: use the dipstick to check the oil regularly and before a long journey
  • Washers: always keep your screenwash topped up
  • Lights: check your indicators, hazard lights, headlights, foglights, reversing lights and brake lights
  • Fuel: refuel BEFORE you enter the motorway

Top 15 breakdown locations in England

Road nameBreakdowns (2018-2019)Breakdowns (2014-2019)
1. M132,152139,394
2. M2527,941125,081
3. M629,428124,852
4. M515,42071,403
5. M6213,33258,300
6. M412,46254,510
7. M409,69239,070
8. A1(M)8,54535,386
9. M606,37930,158
10. M37,03329,054
11. M424,45722,183
12. M114,26819,273
13. A13,18718,731
14. M204,24416,615
15. M563,42114,400
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