RAC spokesman Simon Williams said: "Our patrols dealt with 24% more breakdowns yesterday than expected in Scotland as the temperature plummeted to minus 12C. The North West of England saw a 17% increase while the most northern parts only saw an 11% rise in call-outs.
"Problems with burnt-out clutches topped the list of the most commonly seen cold weather faults with a 31% increase compared to the previous seven days. Flat battery call-outs were up 26% and starter motor issues were not far behind on 22%.
"With more icy weather forecast motorists need to take extra care on the road by slowing down and leaving more space behind the car in front. But as our patrols have seen for many motorists the problems begin at home with cars that just don't start. If cars are slow to start it may be time to get the battery starting and charging system checked. And, if the cold conditions are joined by fog drivers will face great difficulty on the roads on Wednesday morning."