Record Number Of Car Breakdowns Expected
A combination of cold weather and cost cutting by as many as 3 million motorists is likely to result in a record number of stranded drivers on Monday 5th January 2009, according to the Environmental Transport Association (ETA), a not-for-profit breakdown company.
December’s cold weather is forecast to continue through the New Year period and this will exacerbate the problem of flat batteries – traditionally the main cause of car breakdowns on the first day back at work after Christmas because vehicles have been left unused.
It is feared that the number of stranded motorists this year may be higher because people are trying to save money by cutting back on what they regard as non-essential services – the equivalent of 3 million drivers are prepared to go without breakdown cover in order to reduce their motoring costs, according to a poll of British motorists conducted by the ETA earlier this month.
Director of the ETA, Andrew Davis said: “It’s not just people who can feel flat following the New Year festivities; the sub-zero temperatures predicted for early January mean many car batteries will fail on that first Monday back to work.”
The ETA will employ a fleet of 8,500 recovery vehicles to rescue motorists this January. It offers the following tips to avoid a breakdown:
1. Most breakdowns at this time of the year are due to flat batteries rather than mechanical failure – try and avoid leaving your car unused for days at a time during the current cold snap.
2. If you already have breakdown cover, make sure it covers you at home as there is a good chance that is where a car battery will fail
3. Doing without breakdown cover can be false economy – prices range from £30 a year.