Drivers are being warned to avoid the “flat battery blues” when they return to work after the festive period.
The RAC said it deals with more flat batteries on the first working day of each year than on any other day.
This is because many people leave their cars idle for more than a week after stopping work for Christmas, causing batteries to drain.
The RAC predicted that around 28% of the breakdowns it attends on January 2 will be for flat batteries, out of a total of around 12,000.
To reduce the chances of being affected by flat batteries, drivers are advised not to leave cars unused, ensure everything is switched off when journeys are finished, and check battery connections are tight and free from corrosion.
RAC spokeswoman Alice Simpson said: “Going back to work after a good Christmas break is bad enough, so the last thing any driver wants is a car that won’t start.
“Fortunately, the flat battery blues are very easy to prevent ahead of January 2.
“We suggest drivers don’t leave their cars sitting completely idle over the holiday period and instead try to use them regularly.
“Any car that’s currently reluctant to start is a sign of a weak battery, meaning it’s more at risk of failing at the start of the new year.
“A combination of colder weather putting more strain on vehicle batteries and the greater demand on lights, heated windscreens and wipers is a recipe for a flat battery in the winter.”