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Breakdowns spike as drivers and vehicles struggle with freezing conditions

Vehicle breakdowns were up by around a quarter on Thursday as drivers and vehicles struggled in freezing temperatures (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Vehicle breakdowns were up by around a quarter on Thursday as drivers and vehicles struggled in freezing temperatures (Owen Humphreys/PA)

Vehicle breakdowns were up by around a quarter on Thursday as drivers and vehicles struggled in freezing temperatures.

The number of stranded vehicles is expected to remain higher than normal on Friday, the RAC said.

Rod Dennis from the breakdown rescue company said: “Thursday was an exceptionally busy day for our patrols, with around a quarter more breakdowns taking place nationwide than is normal for this time of year.

“The eastern side of the UK saw most of the demand.

“Flat batteries and problems with tyres, especially punctures, were the top reasons for drivers breaking down.

“We’re expecting Friday to be even busier as many people – including students – use their cars to get away for the weekend or take a day off to do their Christmas shopping.

“It’s a picture that’s going to continue into the weekend and next week as the cold snap continues.”

An AA spokesman described Thursday as “extremely busy”, adding: “The AA’s workload was 20% above forecast and one of our busiest workload days for many years.

“Breakdowns peaked at 1,200 jobs per hour.

“The days ahead will be very challenging but not as busy overall.

“We expect Friday to be approximately 16% over forecast, with breakdowns dropping off over the weekend and then peaking again on Monday with probably 15% above forecast.”

Drivers are advised to check their cars before starting journeys and pack extra clothes, food and a warm drink in a flask.