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Hi hatter24 and welcome to the forums ?
Has the battery been checked ? I would highly suspect the battery is dieing. The alarm going off will be because it (the alarm) is sensing a dop in voltage due to this most probably. Sounds all the more probable as he hasnt used the car for three weeks due to being on holiday.
The cold weather is a killer for batteries if they are not in tip top condition.
Is he not a member of the RAC / AA or similar as they will test the battery for you and fit one at a cost obviously.
Might also be worth checking the earth straps / leads from the battery to the body of the car to check they are not corroded / loose. Try test for this, place a jump lead on the negative terminal of the battery and then attach the other end to the body of the car to act as an earth.
Let us know how you get on.
Currently in dave_mezza2006's garage:
2014 Vauxhall Astra Limited Edition 1.4 16v VVT Turbo
Last edited by dave_mezza2006; 7th January 2009 at 09:20 AM.