New research from Kwik Fit revealed that the most common cause of drivers’ most recent breakdowns is battery failure. Of the participants, 17% reported the issue, although only 4% are most worried about their battery failing.
The research was carried out by Opinium among a nationally representative sample of 2,005 UK adults, with fieldwork taking place in February 2021.
The study also showed more than one in three drivers (36%) have broken down in their current car and more than a quarter (26%) of those who broke down in their current car did so in the past six months.
The component most car owners are concerned about are their brakes (15%), despite brake failure being the cause of only 3% of drivers’ most recent breakdowns. 66% of drivers in London have broken down in their current car, almost twice the national average of 36%.
The least likely to have broken down in their current car are drivers in the East of England and Wales (21% of drivers in both regions), with Kwik Fit commenting that whether that be a result good luck or good car care is unknown.
Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, said: “It’s clearly vital that drivers keep their brakes in good condition, but this new research bears out what we have seen for many years - that one of the most common causes of motoring headaches is a battery problem.
“Sometimes batteries will fail out of the blue, but usually there are warning signs in advance, such as a car taking longer to start on a morning. It makes sense for drivers to get their battery checked regularly, that way any problems can be detected before they’re left stranded”.
The Kwik Fit research comes as an easing of lockdown restrictions sees more normal levels of travel resume. It also provides a warning to those commuting by car, particularly grey fleet drivers as almost a third of drivers (31%) experienced their most recent breakdown on a journey relating to work, either driving to or from work (22%) or travelling as part of their job (9%).
Breakdown costs varied significantly. Possibly as expected, Londoners paid the highest price, on average facing a bill of £437.60, £100 more than drivers in the second most costly region, the South East (average repair cost £335.10). It’s also almost twice as much as drivers in Wales, the area with the lowest average cost at £221.90.
Drivers are becoming increasingly aware of the potential pitfalls of being back on the roads, the Kwik Fit research comes after previous research from the RAC suggested there was the equivalent of 52 pothole-related breakdowns a day between January and March 2021. RAC patrols assisted 4,694 drivers who had most likely broken down after hitting a pothole during this period, despite a national lockdown.