LV= Britannia rescue urges drivers to check their cars before the bank holiday weekend

  • Breakdowns due to vehicles not starting is the number one reason for callouts 
  • LV= Britannia Rescue (LV= BR) saw a 50% increase in wheel and tyre problems during last August’s bank holiday weekend
  • LV= BR provides a checklist for drivers to ensure their car is prepared for journeys this weekend

New data1 from LV= Britannia Rescue today reveals that breakdown claims due to vehicles not starting increased by 35%2 during lockdown, rising to 89%3 for callouts while the vehicle is at home. As a result, LV= BR is urging drivers to check their cars ahead of this weekend’s bank holiday.

The data shows that at the start of lockdown there was a 35% increase in the proportion of callouts that were related to vehicles not starting, with many having y sat unused for long periods of time. With lockdown measures gradually easing over recent months, these callout figures have been slowly returning to the levels seen pre-lockdown; however, the number of callouts due to vehicles not starting still sits at the level normally expected during the winter months.4

Another common reason for callouts involves problems with the wheels, where no suitable spare tyre is available. Last summer the number of these callouts rose by 50%5 during the August bank holiday weekend. 

Henry Topham, Managing Director of LV= Britannia Rescue, says; “Our research reveals that nearly half (48%) of Brits were planning a UK holiday this summer6, so this Bank Holiday weekend, we expect many families and friends to get together for days out and staycations across the UK. We want you to have the best time possible – and that means no breakdowns on your way there or way back!

“If you have not used your car as much over recent months, whether this is due to lockdown or other reasons, take your car for a short test-drive before your trip. If you are not a regular driver, it is generally good practice to frequently go for short drives to ensure the battery does not go flat. Also ensure you have a spare tyre, in case of wheel problems during your journey. 

“In the hot weather we have been experiencing recently, it’s also a good idea to have handy extras packed in case you breakdown. We recommend packing plenty of water and refreshments, a high-factor sun cream and some games for the kids. It is always worth having the essentials too – a first aid kit, a spare phone charger, a road map as well as a sat nav, and an empty fuel can. Finally, you should always make sure you have the right cover in place to protect yourself in case of a breakdown.” 

If you are planning on going on a road trip this bank holiday, here’s a check list from LV= Britannia Rescue to consider:

  1. Check your tyre pressure: Check your tyres when they are cold; your handbook will tell you what figures your tyre pressure should be set to. You might want to add a little extra air if you are travelling on motorways for long periods of time. Whilst checking the pressure, do not forget to inspect your tyre tread too, as this is vital for a safe journey, especially in wet conditions. Also check your spare as well, so you are prepared in case anything goes wrong. 
  2. Fill up your water: Your car's engine coolant is a mix of antifreeze and water, and the levels should be monitored to make sure the engine does not overheat, causing a breakdown at the roadside. You can check the coolant levels on the reservoir next to your radiator
  3.  Inspect your widescreen: A chip in the windscreen can be extremely distracting so it's best to get this fixed as soon as you can; you could potentially save yourself from a small chip turning into something more serious and costly! As well as chips and cracks, check your windscreen wipers are functioning as normal; wipers streaking the windscreen or leaving water untouched could be a sign they need to be changed.
  4. Test your lights: Take time to inspect all your lights, from brake lights to indicators, making sure they all work as they should.
  5. Check your oil level: Without the right levels of oil, the engine’s lubrication could be severely reduced; risking damage to your car. If your car has not been used in a while, or only for short commutes there could be sludge from old, used oil and topping up with fresh oil, without a proper oil change, will just mask the problem. This should be done during a service but if you are in any doubt, contact your local garage.

NOTES TO EDITORS:

  1. LV= Britannia Rescue car insurance and breakdown claims data over the past year (August 2019 – August 2020)
  2. Average daily completed dead on key claim volume 1st April to 31st July 2020 compared to same period in 2019
  3. 89% - Average daily completed housecall dead on key claim volume 1st April to 31st July 2020 compared to same period in 2019
  4. 33,1% average dead on key claims in July 2017, 2018, and 2019 and 40.2% average dead on key claims in December 2019 and January 2020
  5. 50% increase on 26th August 2019 compared to daily average from 1st August 2019 to 30th September 2019
  6. Research commissioned to Opinium research by LV= Britannia Rescue on 2,001 UK adults, 19th– 22nd June 2020
 

For further information please contact:

Simon Ansell
Media Relations Manager, General Insurance
07826 953024

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