Drivers warned that lockdown rules could leave car batteries flat

Drivers warned that lockdown rules could leave car batteries flat

Drivers who have not driven their car since the UK was put into a coronavirus lockdown could suffer a false start when they next get behind the wheel, a breakdown rescue provider has warned.

The two weeks since Boris Johnson ordered people to avoid non-essential travel is enough time for some car batteries to become flat, according to the RAC.

If this happens, your car will not start and your two main choices are attempting to jump start it yourself or call for breakdown assistance.

Department for Transport figures show that road traffic has fallen by around two-thirds in the past three weeks, indicating that many cars are no longer being used regularly.

RAC spokesman Simon Williams told the PA news agency: “Many people will find their cars have flat batteries as a result of them being left idle for two weeks.

“This is an unfortunate consequence of the ‘stay at home’ advice and something we’re dealing with on a daily basis.”

Starting a car occasionally “isn’t likely to help”, Mr Williams explained, as that does not allow enough time to recharge batteries.

“In fact this may end up draining a weak battery.”

Households with two cars are advised to alternate between them for their essential journeys in a bid to keep both batteries charged.

Another option is to invest in a trickle charger which tops up batteries even when a car is not being used for long periods.

Mr Williams added: “If your car doesn’t start after a period of not being used and it’s needed for an essential journey, please call us.

“We’re still attending customers, whether that’s people doing their food shopping or going to work because they have to, or emergency service vehicles, delivery lorries and other critical service vehicles.”

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