Whether a vehicle breaks down on the motorway or a few miles from home, it can be a distressing experience and something people would like to avoid. In 2021, the AA rescued just over 2.9 million people who’d broken down.

In a recent survey, the AA asked drivers about their experiences of car breakdowns and what checks they do to prevent one.

Almost four out of 10 respondents said they have experienced breakdown due to a flat battery, making this the most likely reason. This was followed by an engine that wouldn’t start (31%) and a flat tyre (29%). Just less than a fifth said they broke down due to a warning light, while 14% blamed overheating.

Despite having problems with the battery levels being the most common cause of breakdown, only 31% of people say they check the battery status on a regular basis, meaning over two thirds of people don’t check their battery.

It can be tricky to check battery status, particularly for older vehicles. Modern and high end cars tend to have a dashboard notification that alerts drivers when they may have battery issues so they can address them.

Age group Battery died Engine didn’t start Flat tyre
18 to 24 36% 21% 28%
25 to 34 32% 20% 27%
35 to 44 32% 29% 26%
45 to 54 37% 33% 26%
55 to 64 40% 33% 29%
65 and over 38% 30% 31%

More than 10% of people have broken down as a result of a collision, which can be especially distressing for all those involved.

Sean Sidley, Patrol of the Year 2022, said: “If you’ve broken down following a collision with another vehicle and no one was hurt, you should make sure to find out the owner’s contact details and take a note of the vehicle’s registration details. It might also be useful to take a photo.’’

For more information, find the full article here: https://www.theaa.com/breakdown-cover/advice/breakdown-awareness

By Alison