Territorial dogs, steamy couples and jammed violins – these are just some of the bizarre call-outs encountered by RAC breakdown patrol vehicles this year.
Animal-related breakdowns top the list of odd incidents, with 71% of RAC patrols attending a breakdown involving pets, wild animals or birds.
Dogs are frequent offenders; most commonly locking their owners out of a vehicle - especially on petrol forecourts - by activating the locks with their paws.
Swallowing keys, chewing wires, and eating the upholstery and steering wheel are the next most common dog-related problems encountered by patrols.
As well as mischievous mutts, patrols also approach steamy windows with care, as nearly 31% have reported encountering amorous couples on arrival at the scene of a breakdown.
10 most unusual call-outs
1 A car wouldn't start because a family of rats living in the fuse box had chewed through all the wires.
2 A panicking car owner couldn't unlock his car, so he called out a patrolman – who had to politely explain he was trying to open the wrong car.
3 One caller was in a hurry to get assistance – not so much as his car had broken down, but because there was £80,000 in the boot.
4 A van taking an alligator to a zoo needed to be repaired, while on another occasion a transporter delivering a cheetah to a zoo broke down.
5 A hapless groom nearly didn’t marry his bride when he locked the wedding rings in his car.
6 A £30,000 violin had to be rescued when a seatbelt jammed, holding it in place until just moments before a concert.
7 A kitten being driven to its new home panicked and escaped into the dashboard of the vehicle. Similar callouts have involved snakes, mice and hamsters.
8 Opening the back of a broken-down van, a patrolman was startled by 17 falcons staring back at him.
9 One patrol rescued a referee on his way to a crucial football match.
10 A patrol rescued a police car that was stuck up to its windows in mud - after chasing a runaway criminal across a ploughed field.
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