Car battery callouts spike in wake of rising fuel prices

The AA has warned Kiwi motorists not to use their cars less because of rising fuel costs, as it's spelling trouble for car batteries. 

Petrol prices have peaked at a record high of $2.49 per litre this month, which has seen some motorists limit the use of their cars to save money that would be spent on petrol.

But AA battery service manager Simon Calaz says limiting the use of vehicles is detrimental to car batteries, as minimal vehicle usage often leads to flat batteries and can significantly shorten a battery's life. 

"We are seeing far more people than normal with this problem when we go out on a callout," said Mr Calaz, emphasising the need for cars need to be driven on a regular basis. 

"Because they're not running their car often enough for long enough to keep their battery charged, when they do get in and try to start the engine, the battery is often flat and they're unable to start the vehicle."

Mr Calaz suggests drivers who are unable to drive their vehicle regularly should consider getting a charger to keep their car battery topped up and save the expense of constantly buying new batteries. 

Around 40,000 people on Friday responded to a Facebook event which called on New Zealand motorists to stay away from all petrol stations, as Kiwis rallied against the Government for increasing fuel prices. 

The boycott came after petrol prices increased by 3.5 cents nationwide this month as an increase to the fuel excise tax came into effect. It followed Auckland Transport's regional fuel tax introduced in July, which saw petrol prices jump 11.5 cents a litre in Auckland. 

Further 3.5 percent increases will be introduced in 2019 and 2020. And if the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC)'s proposed higher levies for motorists in New Zealand are approved by the Government, petrol prices could go up by almost 2 cents a litre.  

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has ruled out further regional fuel taxes while she's in office, following a fiery debate with Opposition leader Simon Bridges in Parliament last week. 


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