Millions of motorists are losing their cool and increasing the risk of getting into a heated argument with passengers or other road users according to new research from Halfords Autocentres.

With temperatures set to rise again this week, the leading independent garage network reveals that as many as 10.2 million drivers may also find their tempers rising as they deliberately leave their car’s air conditioning switched-off in a bid to save money.

Whilst 20 million vehicles on the road today are now equipped with air conditioning - often an expensive optional addition from the manufacturer - it seems that few drivers realise its true value as Rory Carlin from Halfords Autocentres explains.

“Air conditioning has the ability to keep in-car temperatures comfortable and help avoid frayed nerves or tempers in traffic jams or other stressful situations.

“We test and service more than 35,000 air-conditioning systems a year and on average find more than three quarters of them aren’t operating efficiently – leading to the misconception that they are a fuel sapping luxury.

“Whilst a poorly maintained system will be inefficient, a well looked after air conditioning system will keep your car’s interior cool with ease and have a minimal impact on economy.”

Halfords Autocentres found that almost half (48%) of motorists keep their air conditioning switched off during a journey in a bid to lower fuel consumption and save money.

Men were the most likely to reach for the off switch - with 51% of them willing to get hot under the collar to save cash, compared with 29% of women.

Leading psychologist Dr Geoff Rolls commented: “We know that temperature can affect mood, so journey comfort plays a vital part in ensuring the success of a day trip.

“By keeping the air conditioning set to an optimal 21 degrees, breakdowns of a mechanical rather than the mental variety should be your only concern.”

To download a full copy of the research findings visit the Halfords Autocentres advice centre at:


Media contacts:

Hettie Zammit or Stuart Humphreys at Halfords Press Office:

Tel: 01527 513315

Email: or

Notes to editors

*Survey data taken from a YourSayPays poll for Halfords answered by 2,004 respondents between 24th – 30th June 2013.

About Halfords Autocentres

Halfords Autocentres is a leading independent MOT, car service, repair and tyre garage network. We employ highly trained ATA accredited technicians and use the latest in vehicle diagnostic equipment in over 290 sites - which is expanding monthly - to deliver dealership quality work at affordable prices.

Being independent expert’s means that we are able to service, repair and maintain any make or model of car in line with the manufacturer’s standards, whilst offering a local price match promise and peace of mind in the form of a minimum guarantee of 12 months or 12,000 miles on work carried out. (See website for terms and conditions)

The Halfords Autocentres name may be a recent addition to the Halfords Group, but our heritage spans more than three decades and we serve over 750,000 customers every year - with over 8 out of 10 of them being happy to recommend us to their friends.

Dr Geoff Rolls Biography

Dr Geoff Rolls gained his B.Sc and Ph.D from the University of Southampton, where for nine years the investigated Psychological Aspects of Car Driver Behaviour.

Geoff is a published author of titles including ‘Women Can't Park, Men Can't Pack’ (Chambers 2009), which investigates gender stereotypes (including driving) and is currently Head of Psychology at Peter Symonds College, Winchester.

He is has also written Classic Case Studies in Psychology (Hodder Arnold) which is now in its 3rd edition and has been translated into many languages including Korean.  Geoff has also co-authored many other well-received psychology textbooks with bestselling fellow author Richard Gross.

About Us

Halfords is the UK's leading retailer of automotive, cycling and leisure products and, through Halfords Autocentres, also one of the UK's leading independent car servicing and repair operators. Halfords customers shop at 465 stores in the UK and ROI and at for pick-up at their local store or direct home delivery. Halfords Autocentres operates from around 300 sites nationally and offers motorists dealership-quality MOTs, repairs and car servicing at affordable prices. The Halfords group strategy is based on three pillars: · Supporting Drivers Of Every Car · Inspiring Cyclists Of Every Age · Equipping Families For Their Leisure Time The Getting Into Gear strategy for the Retail business is based on executing in five key areas in order to deliver a significantly-enhanced customer experience: · Service Revolution · The H Factor · Stores Fit to Shop · 21st Century Infrastructure · Click with the Digital Future Halfords employs approximately 12,000 colleagues and sells around 9,000 product lines in store, increasing to around 160,000 Retail products online. The Retail offering encompasses significant ranges in car parts, cycling products, in-car technology, child seats, roof boxes and camping equipment. Halfords’ own cycling brands include Apollo, Carrera and Boardman cycles, augmented by a range of other brands of cycles and accessories, including Kona, Mongoose, Raleigh and Pinarello. In Auto, the Halfords Essentials and Halfords Enhanced ranges are sold alongside brands such as Generic Electric, Bosch, Garmin and TomTom. The Retail Auto offering was recently augmented by the introduction of Car Parts Direct, a service delivering rapid customer access to around 130,000 car parts. In Travel Solutions, Halfords sells a premium range of camping equipment including brands such as Vango and Outwell. Halfords offers customers expert advice and a fitting service for car parts, child seats, satellite navigation and in-car entertainment systems, and a service for cycles.

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