Winter Roadside Woes

15 July 2014

Along with colds, flu and chapped lips, winter also has another downside: it’s the most likely time of year you’ll find yourself stranded with a flat car battery. 

Exclusive data from Budget Direct Roadside Assistance shows over the past six years the number of call-outs for flat batteries on average increases by 26% during the autumn and winter months.

Last winter nearly half (48%) of all call-outs made to Budget Direct Roadside Assistance were for flat batteries. 

According to the Battery Council International, at 27 degrees Celsius a fully charged battery has 100% of its power available, but when the temp drops to freezing that same battery only has two-thirds of its power available. During winter your battery also needs to work harder as oils can thicken, and the chemical reactions needed to fire a battery are affected by the cold.

One of the easiest ways to combat battery blues in winter is to garage your car overnight, but a Budget Direct Roadside Assistance survey* found parking the car indoors is becoming a thing of the past. One-quarter of car owners (25%) never park their car in a garage, and 13% only do so occasionally. Melbournians are the most likely to leave their cars on the street at 37%. 

So what are Aussies likely to do if they get a flat battery? A Budget Direct Roadside Assistance survey** found that;

• 47% of Aussies don’t feel comfortable jump starting their car

• 66% of people would call for roadside assistance

• 20% holler for a friend to help out

• 13% would fix it themselves

If you’re counting on a Good Samaritan to stop and help you jump start your battery, you might be waiting a while, the same survey found;

• Just under half of Australians are unlikely to stop and help someone whose car has broken down (46%)

• Males are more likely than females to stop and help (69%).

• Older generations are more likely to stop than younger ones (62% of Baby Boomers compared to 43% of Generation Y).

• You’re more likely to be helped in rural Australia (62%) than in an urban setting (53%).

To read more go to:


*Source: McCrindle Research Survey conducted 2013 on behalf of Budget Direct. 1436 respondents aged 18 and over participated from Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast. 


**Source: McCrindle Research Survey conducted 2014 on behalf of Budget Direct. 1072 respondents aged 18 and over participated from all states and territories.  


For further information or interviews please contact Jonathan Kerr, Director, Marketing & Digital, Budget Direct (Auto & General) at 07 3377 8801 or

Budget Direct was established as an insurance provider in Australia in 2000.  It is part of the international BHL Group of companies headquartered in the British Isles. The group provides more than 6.8 million policies to insurance customers and administers $2 billion in premiums annually. Budget Direct offers Motor, Home & Contents, Health, Life and Travel Insurance as well as Roadside Assistance.