The Automobile Association (AA) has seen a spike in flat-battery callouts as Kiwis resort to using their cars less due to high fuel costs.

Petrol prices reached near record highs of $2.49/litre earlier this month, and that's seen some motorists limiting how often and how far they drive to save on petrol.

AA Battery Service Manager Simon Calaz said that can play havoc with car batteries.

"We are seeing far more people than normal with this problem when we go out on a callout. 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," said Calaz.


"In some cases, the battery cannot be recharged and requires replacement.

"It's the perfect storm where increased technology in cars means that they're draining more power from batteries, and they need to be driven regularly for more than minimal distances."

Calaz said there's no one-size-fits-all guide to how much a car must be driven, but recommended that drivers try to drive a reasonable distance to avoid the hassle of having to call the battery centre.

He advised motorists unable to drive frequently to invest in a charger to keep their car battery topped up.

He compared a car battery charger to a phone charger, saying it's simply a case of plugging it into a standard household power point and then connecting it to the car battery.