A dozen breakdowns are expected every minute over the first week of the summer holidays as drivers set off on their long-awaited breaks.

Recovery firm Green Flag has made the startling prediction that 118,000 cars will break down between July 22 and 29, with almost 650,000 cars conking out between this weekend and September 3.

However, the company’s predictions give drivers some hints as to what to check before they set out on their journeys.

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The firm expects 11,355 drivers to experience problems with their tyres, while a further 1,689 are predicted to have issues with their brakes and 839 will either run out of fuel or put the wrong fuel into their vehicles.

Changeable weather could also have an impact on vehicle reliability, with more than 12,000 motorists expected to have battery problems and almost 7,000 expected to suffer engine issues – both of which could be affected by temperature.

Audrey Boyd, head of customer solutions at Green Flag, commented: "As families across the country get ready for the start to the summer holidays, it’s anticipated that there will be a high number of vehicles on the roads, with Brits looking to get away during the first week of summer.

“At Green Flag, we want to ensure that drivers stay safe and enjoy the perfect start to their summer holiday plans. While the changeable weather is expected to create issues, many of the problems that drivers are likely to encounter are avoidable if vehicles are checked before embarking on a long journey.”