So that's how you know the little men from Mars or wherever have invaded, the car doesn't start. You might have saved yourself and your family from death by hiding in a Tube station as the majority of the world's population is wiped out, but you only know it is serious when you run up the escalator, passing many bodies, jump into your car, turn the ignition and nothing happens.
It is then shanks' mare for you and two children on a number of adventures, many of which will involve avoiding agile metal creatures with a penchant for killing.
So that's how I began bingeing on the new War of the Worlds series on TV last week. In three days in this reworking of the HG Wells novel I had seen all eight episodes, a lot of death and destruction, thousands on thousands of abandoned cars and much philosophical wondering about why this was happening and what the future could be.
Now this wasn't the lightest thing to be viewing amidst our own age of pestilence, but strangely it did rather fit in with the mood, especially in the how and when of the resumption of normal life.
Last Tuesday night, Ford boss Jim Hackett gave a bizarre monologue as he unveiled the carmaker's $2bn loss in the first three months of the year before the Covid-19 lockdown really began.
Hackett remarked that "the nature of times brings to mind the notion of paradox. And I like to think of the definition of a paradox as two truths that compete."
The first truth was around people's safety. "The communities you live in and amazingly all other humans you interact with, their safety guarantees your safety.
"The second truth, there is no future. If we don't have an economic system that is always on, we didn't realise there was an off switch. We knew it might go into a recession more like a dimmer switch, but off.
"Now as we bring these two truths together, they compete. Turning the economy back on challenges the question of whether it is safe enough," added Jim, saying that his job as chief executive was "managing this paradox and confirming we have control of the business in a very difficult time".
More down to earth, Paddy Magee, Renault's chief executive in Ireland, gave an online press conference to motoring journalists last Monday morning in which he outlined plans for getting his Renault/Dacia firm back in business when restrictions are lifted, as well as helping the overall €5bn Irish motor industry.
Already, the company has come up with supports for more than 1,500 private and business customers who are facing financial difficulties. He now hopes that car showrooms will open well before the key 202 plate season in July. The size of most of them will make social distancing very possible as well as having strong sanitising systems in place, more video selling and unaccompanied test drives.
He also has a "buy now pay later" incentive with three months' deferred payments, 2.02 APR and €1,000 cash back.
On the wider industry, he hopes that a €3,000 VRT reduction across the board would help keep sales near last year's levels and therefore save jobs, reduce emissions and protect most of the Government's tax take, which could fall disastrously if customers don't come in. He believes there are people out there for the cars but they need help and deserve a break. It is worth noting that the company has loaned free 235 cars, fully insured, to medics returning from abroad to work on the front line.
Renault and all the other car companies are going to have their work cut out to try for some normality and there will be a lot of offers as there's much stock out there to be shifted. However, I feel that there is too much uncertainty and it won't be until next year that things will pick up that much.
The consequences will be very difficult. Very much a paradox, I hope they don't have to take on aliens as well.
When car sales come back, there will be a greater emphasis on electric vehicles and the new Government's commitment on climate change will only push this further. There are promising signs from Britain that people have really begun to see EVs as their main vehicle and not as a "trophy purchase" or as urban runarounds.
New figures show electric cars cover similar distances as conventionally fuelled models.
Analysis by the RAC Foundation found that pure battery-electrics clock up an average of 9,435 miles in each of their first three years on UK roads, equivalent to 26 miles or 42 kilometres per day.
The motoring research charity said this shows they are "not just trophy vehicles" as their average annual mileage is only 9pc lower than the figure for all new cars, which stands at 10,377 miles per year.
Many motorists believe only petrol or diesel models are practical for their main car, partly due to anxiety about electric batteries running out of charge mid-journey.
In the UK, petrol models typically only do 7,490 miles in each of their first three years, while new diesel cars cover an average of 12,496 miles per year.
The analysis - which predates the steep falls in road traffic seen as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic - is based on the Ministry of Transport data of more than half-a-million vehicles.
Steve Gooding, of the RAC Foundation, says that this data suggests that owners of electric cars have found them to be a practical proposition, running up the sort of big annual mileages that many of us need to do, challenging preconceptions about their range and the ease of recharging.
Going back to The War of the Worlds, two of the stars are Irish - Gabriel Byrne and Aaron Heffernan - and much of the romantic interest involves Daisy Edgar-Jones, who I saw making out with a Sudanese refugee in the post-apocalyptic world just an hour before she was involved with Maynooth's finest Paul Mescal in the back of a car during the dramatisation of Sally Rooney's Normal People. It was all a bit much, but at least that vehicle could still run.