One of the most frustrating things that can happen when out on the road is to suffer a breakdown. Depending on when and where it takes place, it can create a lot of stress and concern, especially if it is not something you have had to deal with before. If you want to know how to successfully deal with a car break down, we cover the basics of what to do below.
Breaking down on carriage ways and motorways
Breaking down on a carriage way or motorway can create a lot problems, but if you have to pull over to the hard shoulder due to car failure, you should:
- Park as far to the left as possible so you keep away from moving traffic. Point the wheels towards the grass verge in case the vehicle suddenly starts to roll. Turn on the hazard lights to remain visible.
- You should have a reflective jacket to wear in your emergency kit so you are just as visible as the vehicle. Passengers should exit the vehicle to the left to keep away from traffic.
- Get in touch with your breakdown cover provider and tell them where you are. If you don’t have a signal on your smartphone then take care when travelling to the nearest emergency roadside telephone.
- Do not attempt to make any repairs and wait for assistance to reach your location.
- If your car is fixed then take your time to find a wide gap to re-enter the moving traffic. This may take a little while but be patient as it is important to remain safe.
What if I don’t have breakdown cover?
If you do not have breakdown cover (although we believe this is as essential as car insurance) the amount you will have to pay will depend on the scale of the fault. It will cost more if the vehicle has to be taken to a nearby garage. One way to cover the cost of repairs could be to take out a loan for bad credit – which is particularly useful if you do not have a good credit score. Always be sure you can afford to repay without defaulting and check the lender is FCA registered before agreeing to a deal.
Breaking down on quieter roads
Breaking down on a quieter road doesn’t present as many problems, although it can still obstruct other cars behind wishing to pass which is also dangerous. Use the following steps in this situation:
- Standard practice is to turn on the hazard lights and put on your reflective jacket. If you breakdown in dark, wet or foggy conditions, turn on your sidelights so the vehicle remains visible.
- If you are on a particularly small road that leaves the vehicle very close to passing cars, ensure passengers leave the vehicle and move away safely.
- Use a warning triangle to warn other motorists of your position. Placed about 45 metres away should be sufficient.
- Call your breakdown cover provider and wait for them to arrive.
- If the vehicle can be repaired there and then, carefully collect the triangle and wait for a safe gap to appear before moving along the road.