Motorists are being warned to ensure they do not get caught out by a flat battery when they go back to work.
The first Monday after the Christmas and New Year break is usually the busiest day of the year for breakdown rescue firms as many people attempt to drive cars they left unused over the festive period.
Older batteries have the greatest risk of not starting as they are susceptible to cold, damp weather and a long period of inactivity.
During the first Monday of 2019, RAC patrols dealt with 3,600 battery-related breakdowns, representing nearly a third of all its call-outs that day.
The firm’s tips for avoiding a “New Year non-start” include:
– Parking your vehicle in a garage whenever possible;
– Ensuring everything is switched off when you finish a journey, including lights, heater, fan, heated rear windscreen and radio;
– Taking your vehicle for a “decent drive” several days before you need it.
It also recommended getting car batteries tested if they are more than four years old.
RAC patrol of the year Ben Aldous said: “Lots of people will be dreading Monday January 6 as the first day back at work after enjoying an extended Christmas break.
“Unfortunately for many, the start of their working year will get off to a very bad, flat start when their cars won’t start.
“Experience tells us it is often families with two or more vehicles that suffer most from flat batteries on the return to work as they tend only to drive one vehicle over the festive period.
“We are gearing up for the busiest breakdown day of the year.”
A Halfords survey of 2,000 adults indicated 11% of motorists do not know where their car’s battery is located, while 42% do not know how to fix a battery if it dies.
The poll also suggested 30% of motorists have never had their battery checked.
Laura Walsh from Halfords said: “If your battery takes more attempts than usual to start the car, appears sluggish or the warning lights on your dashboard are illuminated, it could be a sign of imminent failure.”