01 Jul 2022

One in five motorists report car issues caused by lockdown

Less usage for motorists during pandemic has led to issues starting cars

One in five motorists report car issues caused by lockdown

More than one in five Irish motorists report that reduced usage resulting from the lockdown measures has led to their car failing to start on at least one occasion within the past 12 months.

In response to an AA Ireland survey of over 4,000 Irish motorists, 14.93% of those surveyed that their car had failed to start on one occasion within the past year as a result of reduced usage.

Meanwhile, a further 5.68% stated that they had experienced up to five incidents of reduced usage leading to their car not starting within the past 12 months, with 1.01 stating this had happened to them 5 or more times.

“Ordinarily many of us only consider the risk of our car failing to start when temperatures dip, but it is an issue that many people have encountered within the past year as the introduction of lockdown measures in response to COVID-19 resulted in many of us using our cars much less frequently,” Conor Faughnan, AA Director of Consumer Affairs stated.

“In the months ahead, we’re all hoping to see some element of normality return, but if you are finding that your car is largely idle currently it can be a good idea to take some preventative steps to avoid the battery draining completely.”

“Even if you do not need your car for essential trips that you are making, starting your car and leaving it run for 20 minutes or so in a ventilated area every few days will help keep the battery charged and reduce the risk of your car letting you down when you do need it.”

The survey also found that over 10% of respondents had experienced a car breakdown within the past year while making an essential journey.

8.39% of those surveyed by the AA stated that they had broken down while making an essential journey on one occasion within the past month, with 1.91% of respondents stating this had happened to them on multiple occasions.

“While traffic levels across the various lockdowns have generally been in the region of 50%-60% of pre-COVID norms, the number of breakdowns attended to by AA patrols on a daily basis has largely stayed in line with what we were seeing pre-COVID,” Faughnan added.

“Reduced usage leading to issues is certainly a contributing factor to that, and while there is no such thing as a good time to experience a breakdown it’s certainly something people want to avoid at the moment. Staying on top of your car maintenance during lockdown is vitally important.”

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