AA braced for R-reg road fever

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The Independent Online
Dozens of new car owners were driven to despair yesterday after their new R-registration models broke down. The AA and RAC were called out to help about 60 motorists who were stranded because of mechanical problems - some caused by their ignorance about their new cars. Faults included lock-outs, overheating, exhaust problems, non-starting, flat batteries and fuel problems.

A total of 14,000 new cars were driven off garage forecourts yesterday in the annual scramble for newly registered cars. By 9pm the AA had dealt with about 55 calls from drivers experiencing problems - the first emergency call had been at 1.10am from a driver on the M3 in Hampshire whose dream machine had broken down - while the RAC handled 16 calls. The organisations expect to deal with more than 500 R-reg emergencies this weekend.

The first casualty of R-reg fever was a pounds 14,000 Vauxhall Vectra when a delivery driver wrote it off on the M40 at 3.40am on his way to a customer in Dundee. Brian Batchelor, managing director of Mitchell Bros, said: "I had a phone call at 7.30 this morning to find out it was in a bodyshop after an accident on the M40. I couldn't see the funny side this morning, but I am beginning to see it now."

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