Car insurer NFU Mutual has extended its complimentary RAC cover a further three months, as breakdowns have soared by 160% between May and July.
The group has implemented the extension ahead of the “bumper” Bank Holiday weekend, warning that the effects of the MOT extension and lockdown have “taken their toll” on vehicle health.
The insurer has now extended its complimentary offer of national recovery and home RAC breakdown cover, to its new and existing car and light goods vehicle customers, until the end of November.
This is in addition to the standard breakdown cover its car insurance customers already receive.
The most common breakdown causes for vehicles needing recovery in July were flat batteries, wheel changes, mechanical engine issues, engine management issues for modern computer-led vehicles, and fuel system problems as well as road traffic accidents.
According to additional research conducted by the group, while 83% of drivers are confident in checking tyre pressure, 54% hadn’t checked it during the last three months.
A further 45% of drivers aren’t confident with changing oil, while 40% aren’t confident in changing a tyre, and 35% aren’t confident in how to jump start their car.
Steve Tucker, car insurance specialist at NFU Mutual, said: “The after-effects of the MOT extension, lockdown and also the start of the recession are now starting to show in the form of deteriorating vehicle health, and we’re concerned about the impact of this on safety and already busy roads.
“Popular UK spots have been over-capacity all summer with this weekend no exception, and many people have also been going off the beaten track to remote rural or coastal areas and finding themselves stuck there.”
He added: “Technology can be a lifeline but don’t completely rely on your mobile or Sat Nav for directions. Pre-plan your route in case you lose signal in rural areas, which could cause a potentially lethal distraction.”
“Prepare for your weekend with basic checks of oil, tyres and screen wash before you set off. Flat batteries at home are still our biggest issue post-lockdown so a few days before you leave, drive your vehicle for at least 15 minutes to recharge the battery and check all is OK so you can enjoy a well-deserved break.”