Car breakdowns to hit 700,000 this summer

National breakdown cover provider Green Flag is warning about the amount of predicted recoveries this summer.
National breakdown cover provider Green Flag is warning about the amount of predicted recoveries this summer.
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Vehicle breakdowns are set to top 700,000 this summer holiday.

Recovery firm Green Flag is predicting a breakdown every five seconds across the country.

The last week of July will see coolant-related breakdowns at sky-high with an estimated 122 breakdowns per day, or one every twelve minutes.

A combination of sudden showers and high temperatures are set to hit the UK over the coming weeks. And Green Flag is forecasting that overheating, running out of fuel and coolant complications will leave many drivers in disarray.

Simon Henrick, head of news at Green Flag, said: “It’s been a hot and changeable summer, which means conditions have been tough for drivers – but avoiding a breakdown can often be easy, if you prepare properly.

“Before you get in your car, check both your fuel and coolant levels and make sure your tyres are at the correct pressure and there’s no discernible wear on them. Try not to overload your car and ensure you have plenty of bottled water, in case you do break down in the heat.

“When driving, try to avoid overusing the air conditioning, especially when you’re driving slowly.

“Driving at less than 50mph with the air conditioning on means your engine has to work extra hard as is burning excess fuel, especially when going up hill.”

The start of the school holidays means that families embarking on long summer journeys and increasing amounts of cars on the road could cause traffic jams on Britain’s motorways.

Green Flag’s data reveals that 3,300 cars will breakdown due to lack of fuel – caused by lack of journey planning, the combination of crawling in heavy traffic and the over-use of air conditioning.

The most common summer breakdown causes are engine-related issues (436,000), tyre-related issues (64,000), flat battery (53,700), keys locked in car (10,000) and coolant (6,400).


National breakdown cover provider Green Flag has issued a simple set of tips to avoid spending the holidays on the hard shoulder.

Make sure you have lots of coolant and it isn’t past its sell by date. Coolant that is past its sell by date will cause more harm to a car than good. It may leave deposits in your engine and radiator that can lead to poor coolant flow.

Drivers should also turn off their air conditioning when driving at slower speeds as engines have to work harder to pump out cool air and could run the risk of burning excess fuel.

The last tip is don’t overload your car with holiday luggage, causing it to work even harder.

Ashley and Keith Boots.

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