MOTORING organisations are gearing up for the busiest days of the month as people take to the roads for last- minute shopping trips.
Huddersfield- based Britannia Rescue has already seen a 20% rise in the number of calls for help from motorists.
And the time of calls has shifted with the majority of calls from 9am onwards rather than the usual rush-hour peak of between 7 and 9am.
A spokeswoman for the motoring organisation said: "Monday morning is always busy, but with the start of the school holidays we have seen a shift in peak time to after 9am.
"Coupled with the onset of a cold snap at the start of the week, we have seen a 20% increase in call-outs."
Green Flag motoring assistance expects to attend more than 60,000 breakdowns over the Christmas period.
Green Flag spokesman Nigel Charlesworth said: "The run up to the Christmas holidays right into the New Year are always among the busiest days for dealing with breakdowns.
"We put this down to last-minute shopping for Christmas gifts, especially with many stores already making price cuts or planning to launch their sales earlier this year.
He advised motorists to give themselves plenty of time to travel to their destination if weather conditions worsened over Christmas, to check their vehicle over before setting off and to keep a mobile phone handy in case of emergencies.