22 Jul 2022

Two thirds of Brits can't change a tyre as nation gears up for a summer of road trips

  • Almost half of brits (47%) will be driving to their holiday destinations this year.
  • 68% can’t change a tyre, 44% can’t top up water and 42% can’t replenish oil or windscreen washer
  • 32% of drivers have broken down, facing average cost £206 for those without cover
  • FlexPlus provides many benefits, including AA Breakdown cover for the UK and Europe

As hordes of holidaymakers prepare to hit the roads this summer, new research reveals the nation is inadequately prepared in the event of a breakdown.

The Nationwide FlexPlus poll uncovers a significant knowledge gap in basic roadside skills in the event of a breakdown, with more than two thirds (68%) not knowing how to change a car tyre, while fewer than half can top up water (44%). Some 42 per cent aren’t able to fill the windscreen washer (42%) or replenish oil (42%).

The survey, which polled more than 2,000 people across the UK, reveals almost half of Brits (47%) are planning to take their car on leisure trips this summer, with the average journey expected to be around 248 miles. Four in ten  will also use their cars to go on holiday, whether at home or abroad, with the most popular UK destinations being Cornwall (30%) followed by the Lake District (29%) and Devon (23%).

It is a situation that appears to have been exacerbated by the rising cost of living, with more than half (53%) choosing to change their summer plans due to soaring prices, with almost three in ten (27%) per cent opting for days out rather than a big holiday.

Around a third (32%) of drivers have experienced a breakdown in their vehicle, with over a third (34%) of those breaking down at least three times. This leaves them facing an average wait of around 3.5 hours and for those without breakdown cover, a bill of £206 to rescue them and fix the problem.

As people review their expenses and might be tempted to forego insurances due to the cost of living crisis, being able to have a fixed cost of £13 a month allows members to better plan their finances than being hit by a large one off bill from breaking down or needing other help while on holiday, such as medical help abroad. With Nationwide’s partnership with the AA, members can benefit from UK and European breakdown cover on its FlexPlus packaged current account. FlexPlus, which costs £13 a month, can be opened online, with those switching from another provider eligible for £100, or £125 if already a Nationwide member. 

 Cover includes:

  • Accident Assist - a 24/7 service fronted by AA’s fleet of 2,550 breakdown specialists.
  • Cover for any vehicle the member is driving plus any named driver using their vehicle.
  • Access to the AA’s app, enabling breakdowns to be reported and tracked.
  • Vehicle recovery and replacement vehicle to be arranged by AA.

 As well as breakdown cover, FlexPlus provides:

James Broome, Head of Current Account & Credit Cards at Nationwide, said: “Breaking down on route to a holiday destination ranks up there with life’s more stressful moments. But as our survey shows, it is incredibly common. Partnering with AA means our FlexPlus breakdown insurance offers extensive coverage, meaning members can get off the hard shoulder and back to enjoying their summer holiday plans sooner rather than later. Added to the other fantastic available benefits, FlexPlus offers excellent value for money and benefits for the whole family.”