Breakdowns up as traffic returns to pre-bank holiday levels

Post-Easter breakdowns highest since lockdown began

Half of breakdowns caused by battery problems

16 April 2020

Following record low traffic over the Easter weekend, the AA experienced its highest peak in breakdowns since the lockdown began on Tuesday, as traffic returned to pre-bank holiday levels.

Breakdown volumes on Tuesday (14 April) were only around 20% below ‘normal’ (pre-lockdown) levels and approximately three times the daily average seen over the bank holiday weekend.

Battery-related breakdowns also peaked on Tuesday, with nearly half (49%) of all jobs AA patrols attended caused by battery issues. Overall, more than half (55%) of breakdowns occurring at home during the lockdown have been due to battery problems.

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Edmund King, AA president, said: “The dip in breakdowns and traffic over the long weekend demonstrates that for the most part, drivers respected the lockdown and abandoned pre-planned Easter travel to the coast or countryside, or to visit family and friends. 

“Tuesday’s rise in breakdowns is indicative of an increase in car journeys as key workers got back on the road after a short rest, and drivers headed to supermarkets for essential supplies following Easter bank holiday closures.

"Batteries that were already low on charge would have suffered more when temperatures dropped overnight"
Edmund King, AA president

“Batteries that were already low on charge through lack of use would have suffered more when the temperature dropped on Monday night, leading some drivers to find their car wouldn’t start on Tuesday morning. But our patrols are still here to help members who find themselves in this situation.”

Drivers who do find their car won’t start can still call the AA for help or report their breakdown using the AA app, and will be asked to follow social distancing measures, maintaining a two-metre distance from the patrol. In some cases, the driver may need to stay in their car with the windows closed while the patrol works on the vehicle. 

Advice on how drivers can maintain their car through the lockdown is available at https://www.theaa.com/driving-advice/laying-up

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