Looking for a better deal on your insurance? Get a quote
Become a registered garage - Join us

What To Do If Your Car Battery Is Flat

What To Do If Your Car Battery Is Flat

There are few things more annoying than getting ready to leave the house and making it to the car, only to realise that you have a flat battery. While we probably don’t think about our batteries much (you are unlikely to hear car enthusiasts comparing their batteries), the battery is essential for starting the engine. Over time, the battery charge can become depleted due to factors such as short trips, underuse, or age.

Confirm that it's the battery

Before calling for vehicle assistance, check to see if it's the battery that's causing the problem. Start by verifying that you have enough fuel and try using your spare key to unlock the car if your primary key doesn't work. If you're unable to start the engine and the steering wheel feels jammed, try wiggling the wheel to see if it's obstructed by the curb. If you're unsure, contact your local recovery service.

Seek assistance

If the battery is damaged, leaking, or completely depleted, you'll need to replace it. In this case, it is necessary for you to call your local recovery service to transport you to safety and the nearest battery specialist or garage. If you have vehicle cover, unless you are confident in what you are doing, or you are with someone who knows what they are doing, it may not be worth risking trying to fix the problem yourself as there is potential that you could make the situation worse.


If the battery is the problem, you are parked safely somewhere, and you have a functioning central locking system, one option is to remove the battery and try to charge it using a mains-fed car battery charger. These chargers work just like a phone or device charger and if your battery is in reasonable condition, it will provide the battery with enough power to start your vehicle.

Another option is to jump start your car, but it is important that you know what you are doing or you might end up damaging the battery or equipment. To jumpstart a car, you'll need a set of working jump leads and a fully charged battery from another vehicle. Never attempt to jumpstart a car using an electric or hybrid vehicle, as it may result in significant damage. Before proceeding, ensure that the battery and equipment are in good condition, and never use broken jump leads. Make sure your surroundings are safe before proceeding, and remove any metal objects or loose clothing that could get caught in the engine.

For more car maintenance assistance, or to find a a local garage, battery specialist, or roadside callout service that you can trust, follow Trust A Garage on Twitter or Facebook, or take a look at our directory of garages near you.

Was this useful?