Around 12,000 breakdowns are expected on Monday 6 January, with nearly a third of RAC call-outs likely to be flat batteries.
The first day back after the Christmas and New Year break is traditionally the biggest breakdown day of the year as thousands of owners jump into their car having left them unused over the holiday period, according to the RAC.
People who have vehicles with older batteries are likely to be at greater risk of a ‘New Year non-start’ as the cold damp weather and long periods of inactivity are the perfect combination to drain batteries.
Last year, RAC patrols dealt with 3,600 battery-related breakdowns on Monday 7 January 2019 which represented 31 per cent of all its call-outs that day.
Wednesday 2 January 2019 was also busy a day for flat batteries with 2,422, or 26 per cent of all RAC breakdowns.
New research carried out with 3,480 members of the RAC opinion panel shows six per cent of drivers have suffered a post-Christmas flat battery.
Of those, 58 per cent say it was due to the vehicle not being used for several days and 13 per cent claim to have fallen victim twice.
As many as 40 per cent who have suffered this problem say the last time it happened to them they were on the way to work, and 17 per cent say it caused a big problem for them.
A more cautious 31 per cent, however, take precautions to guard against getting a flat vehicle battery after the Christmas break.
Among these, more than half drive their vehicles every day, 22 per cent use a special trickle charger to keep the battery healthy and 18 per cent run the engine while stationary for a few minutes – something which the RAC says can do more harm than good.
RAC patrol of the year Ben Aldous said: “Lots of people will be dreading Monday 6 January 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, or should that be, flat start when their cars won’t start.”
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