AA Roadservice has recorded a record day of callouts after nearly five weeks of lockdown - with most calls being for a flat battery.
With around 400,000 people returning to work for the first time in weeks and city centres seeing an uptick in traffic, many have found themselves caught out.
General Manager of Roadside Solutions Bashir Khan said that the company normally attends 1200 callouts for breakdown assistance in a 24-hour period.
But by 4pm on the first day of alert level 3, it had already attended more than 1500 callouts, with the AA Roadservice app flooded with requests.
"By midnight tonight, we're expecting to have attended between 1700 and 1800 jobs; that would make it a record-breaking day," he said.
"We were expecting the start of alert level 3 to be busy as more Kiwis return to work, but we've had unparalleled demand from early this morning."
Around 80 per cent of the callouts were battery related, Khan said.
The AA team was now working through a backlog of calls and Khan asked customers to only call for assistance in urgent situations.
"We've pulled in all extra resources we possibly can on the road and to support our Contact Centre, and are doing everything we can to assist members around the country," he said.
"We want to thank members who have already requested assistance for their patience as we take longer than normal to respond to their requests."
If you're wanting to nip to the shops without being caught out by a flat battery, Khan recommended starting the car engine for 30 minutes at least one a week to ensure the battery is topped up and the engine oil and coolant are circulated.
You can also use a maintenance charger, aka a trickle or float charger, to charge your battery - but best to do this in your garage, away from the elements.
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