Car Breakdowns Up By 5%, Says AA

The number of Irish motorists experiencing a breakdown has risen by 5% year-on-year, according to the AA’s Annual Breakdown Review.

The level of vehicle kilometres travelled has increased by 2 percent this year compared to 2014, and the AA has reported seeing a corresponding higher volume of breakdowns this year.

“More cars on our roads normally means a higher risk of incidents, which in this case relates to a rise in breakdowns. Anyone need only travel via the M50 on any one day to know that there are a lot more people out and about,” says Conor Faughnan, director of consumer affairs at The AA. “Fuel sales are normally a good proxy figure when determining the levels of activity on the roads, and mirror traffic data. As such, total fuel sales rose by nine percent in 2013, 2.2 percent in 2014 and by around 2.5 percent so far this year.”

The country-wide analysis of over 100,000 AA rescue assignments also reveals how motorists are continuing to wrangle with worn-out batteries, which have caused around one in four breakdowns this year. Almost 17,000 motorists attracted a puncture, down just one percent from the last commissioned review. Women seem to have suffered the most punctures this year, accounting for 17 percent of jobs compared to 12 percent of men. However, men have fared worse when it comes to putting the correct fuel type in their vehicle.

Malfunctioning clutches and worn-out engines have also prompted motorists to call for AA assistance over the last 12 months, with the figure for each remaining the same since 2012. Steering, suspension and braking systems have declined by just one percent, with one in four motorists reporting these to AA Patrols.

“These are issues normally associated with ageing vehicles,” advises Conor. “Evidently, more people are purchasing new cars, with registration up by around 30 percent so far this year. It’ll be some time before this is detectable in the landscape of breakdowns, though. In the meantime, our best advice is to ensure that your car is serviced regularly and you’re carrying out your own simple maintenance checks in between.”

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