LV= Britannia Rescue warns motorists of a soar in breakdowns due to heatwaves

  • Car breakdowns increased by 22% across the UK during last year’s August heatwave 
  • Soaring temperatures in June 2022 saw claims for coolant leaks spike by 99%, with the average recovery claim costing £187
  • Hot weather in June this year also saw coolant leak breakdowns rise by 38% compared to the previous month 
  • The breakdown provider issues top tips for those travelling in the heat this week. 

With this week set to be a scorcher according to the Met Office, LV= Britannia Rescue is warning drivers to check their cars before they hit the road.

The warning comes as fresh data from the nationwide breakdown provider highlights that car breakdowns increased by 22% during last August’s heatwave, compared to the same period in 2021.

With Brits heading out to enjoy the long-awaited warm weather, or commuting by car to avoid hot public transport, expensive issues such as coolant leaks are more likely to occur, and breakdown recovery for the problem can cost an average of £187.

Soaring temperatures in June 2022 saw a significant spike of 99%1 in claims for coolant leaks compared to 2021, which occurred during the multiple heatwaves the UK experienced last year. This was followed by an 18% increase in July and 47% increase in August compared to 2021. Hot weather in June this year also saw coolant leak breakdowns rise by 38%2 compared to the previous month.

In addition, engine and gearbox problems were the other top issues Brits faced from breakdowns during heatwaves last year. In August 2022, engine problems saw a 39% increase, coupled with gearbox problems which saw a 37% increase compared to 2021. On average, the cost to recover a breakdown claim for engine problems is around £168, with gearboxes costing a similar £164.

Ahead of the heatwave, LV= urges Brits to follow some simple tips to help motorists reduce their chances of experiencing a breakdown or damage to their vehicle this week.

  1. Check and fill up your water and oil levels: Your car's engine coolant is a mix of antifreeze and water, and their levels should be monitored to make sure the engine does not overheat, causing a car to breakdown. The oil levels are also highly important, as without the right levels of oil, the engine’s lubrication could be severely reduced, risking damage to your car. If the oil gets too heated it can start to degrade, we recommend having a proper oil change before your journey to ensure this does not occur while on the road.


  2. Check your tyre pressure before heading out:  Heat increases air pressure in tyres even if the car isn't moving which can cause over inflation, potentially leading to tyre damage or even a blowout. To ensure safe travel, don’t forget your inflation kit or a spare tire for the journey, so you are fully prepared in case anything goes wrong.


  3. Leave the car parked in the shade: The sun can shine onto the dashboard or seats, causing extreme heat. So, make sure you don’t leave any flammable objects in direct sunlight (such as lighters, aerosols or mirrors), as they could explode or cause a fire.


Henry Topham, Managing Director of Britannia Rescue, comments: “Our data shows a significant increase in breakdowns during spells of hot weather, so we’re urging motorists to check over their vehicles before heading off on any journeys during hot weather this week.

“Whether you’re heading somewhere nearby or going quite the distance, it’s always worth taking steps to avoid a breakdown. It’s not fun at all getting stuck on the side of the road in the heat, so make sure you have your breakdown providers details handy in case you do need them. It’s also a good idea to pack plenty of water and to keep hydrated if you’re going off on a long journey.”


Notes to editors 


For further information please contact:
Madeleine Pay, Mischief PR [email protected], 07814 238953
Natasha King, LV= General Insurance Senior Press Officer, [email protected], 07443 237651



1LV= General Insurance and Britannia Rescue Breakdown data between: 
• 15th –17th June 2022 compared to 15th – 17th June 2021
• 17th – 19th July 2022 compared to 17th-19th July 2021
• 9th – 15th August 2022 compared to 9th – 15th August 2021
May 2023 and June 2023 


About Liverpool Victoria General Insurance

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Natasha Gibbs
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Allianz & LV= General Insurance
07443 237651