From trapped animals to distressed celebrities, new research reveals the most unusual call-outs breakdown recoveries respond to.
While basic car maintenance problems, such as punctured tyres and flat batteries are the most common reasons for breakdowns, the research also revealed some far more bizarre reasons for call-outs.
A motorist complaining of a strange noise coming from under his car was surprised to find the cause was a grumpy badger trapped between the exhaust and the car body.
An RAC member’s pet snake escaped in transit and got caught under the car dashboard, resulting in the patrol having to dismantle the dashboard to release the reptile.
After leaving the handbrake off, an RAC member was horrified to discover his car had rolled down the drive, over a patio wall, through a set of French windows and into his living room.
A patrol called out to check a car’s air intake pipe was baffled to find it was stuffed with nuts. The culprit turned out to be a squirrel that the car owner had often seen stealing from his bird table, although he never guessed where it had been storing its spoils.
A recovery driver got more than he bargained for when called out to attend a motorbike breakdown and found that it was sitting four feet deep in the Thames at Richmond Bridge. Miraculously, once the engine was dried out, the member was able to drive away on it.
A mystery electrical failure in an estate car was explained when the eleven year old who had been left in the back seat revealed he had removed every fuse in the fuse box and hidden them in his pockets.
RAC saved the day at one wedding, as the bride and groom found they had locked their keys inside the car, along with their wedding rings.
Smoke coming from a motorist’s dashboard turned out to be the fault of his four year old son, who had “posted” £24 worth of coins from his Dad’s coin holder into the cassette slot.
An RAC patrol was called out to rescue a mother after her toddler swallowed the car’s immobilizer chip. The RAC patrol managed to get the car started again by holding the infant over the steering wheel.
When an RAC member got out of her car, leaving the keys on the seat, her dog jumped on them, locking the door. Just as the patrol was about to gain entry, the dog jumped off the keys, letting itself out of the car.
- A car wouldn’t start because a family of rats living in the fuse box had chewed through all the wires.
- A panicking car owner couldn’t unlock his car, so he called out a patrolman who had to politely explain he was trying to open the wrong car.
- One caller was in a hurry to get assistance not so much as his car had broken down, but because there was £80,000 in the boot.
- A van taking an alligator to a zoo needed to be repaired, while on another occasion a transporter delivering a cheetah to a zoo broke down.
- A hapless groom nearly didn’t marry his bride when he locked the wedding rings in his car.
- A £30,000 violin had to be rescued when a seat belt jammed, holding it in place until just moments before a concert.
- A kitten being driven to its new home panicked and escaped into the dashboard of the vehicle. Similar callouts have involved snakes, mice and hamsters.
- Opening the back of a broken-down van, a patrolman was startled by 17 falcons staring back at him.
- One patrol rescued a referee on his way to a crucial football match.
- A patrol rescued a police car that was stuck up to its windows in mud – after chasing a runaway criminal across a ploughed field.