Holding Icon What to Do if You Have a Flat Car Battery

Discovering you have a flat car battery can be very frustrating, particularly if you're about to set off for work and your car won't start. Find out what you can do if your car battery is dead with this quick guide from Halfords.

You can suffer a dead car battery for a whole host of reasons, including cold weather, frequent short journeys, excessive strain and battery age. This is why flat car batteries are the number one reason for call-outs to breakdown services.

However, before calling anyone out, you may be able to solve the problem yourself - read on to find out more.

What to Do if You Have a Flat Car Battery


  • A common reason for a dead car battery is that it's been drained by the lights being left on, without the engine running. If your battery hasn't completely discharged, you may be able to charge it using a car battery charger that plugs into the mains. Halfords sells a range of these, so keep one in your garage and you'll be prepared!
  • However, if your battery has totally run out, it's likely that simply charging it won't work. Your next option is to try a jump start. You'll need a set of jump leads and a 'donor' car to do this - but first, see our how to jump start a car guide for some essential safety advice.You can also use a power pack to jump start a battery, without a second car - it's a good idea to keep a power pack in the boot just in case.
  • If jump starting or recharging doesn't get your car going, you may have a more serious problem. If you can get your car to the nearest Halfords, our in-store staff can check your battery for free and determine whether the issue is simply a flat car battery, or whether it could be something else, such as a fault with the alternator.
  • Bear in mind that even if you manage to recharge or jump start your battery, its life may have been significantly shortened after a discharge - you may want to replace it at some point for a new one.


Halfords can provide FREE car battery checks in-store, plus we have the UK's biggest range of batteries should your car need a new one. The batteries we sell cover 98% of the vehicles on the road, so it's likely we'll have the right one for your vehicle.

To find out which is the correct battery for your car, you can use our helpful online lookup tool. All you have to do is enter your vehicle registration number, and you'll be taken to the right product.

You can then reserve your car battery online and collect it from your nearest Halfords, where you can take advantage of our low-cost fitting service. Of course, our in-store staff are always on hand to offer advice, so feel free to pop in whenever you have a question.