What to Do If Your Vehicle Breaks Down

Written on April 2, 2020

Written by Josie

According to recent studies, a 30% of all cars that are 3 to 10 years old will have a break down in the next year. Having a vehicle break down is something that will rarely cross your mind until it’s too late, and can often leave drivers stuck in on the side of the road in a stressful situation. Therefore, it is always best to prepare for the worst-case scenario, and know yourself exactly what to do in the event of a break down. This guide will show you step-by-step what to do in the event of a break down:  

Step 1 – Stop Somewhere Safe

  breakdown-safe   If you suspect that your vehicle is about to break down, whether making strange noises, strange movements or smoking, it is important to avoid a dangerous vehicle break down, and park in the next safest available spot.  In some cases, this can be tricky, especially for those on main roads or the motorway. If you cannot find a safe place to exit when breaking down on the motorway, it might be best to pull up on the hard shoulder. Stopping here will ensure that you park up somewhere relatively safe, and could potentially prevent further damage to you, your passengers, and other drivers on the road.   

Step 2 – Leave The Vehicle

  leave-vehicle-breakdown   It is very important that you exit your vehicle in the safest way possible. This will be easier if you have broken down somewhere quiet with few cars on the road.  If your vehicle has broken down along the motorway, it may be more difficult to exit safely. To ensure you and your passengers’ safety in this circumstance, make sure that you all exit on the side furthest away from the road. This will help you to avoid any potential collisions from other vehicles, and prevent serious harm to anyone involved in the break down.   

Step 3 – Find a Safe Space to Wait

  safe-place-vehicle-breakdown   Once you have both successfully parked the vehicle in a safe place and left, the next step is to find a secure area to wait for assistance. You should stay clear from the vehicle, however remain in sight of it. Passengers should place themselves as far away from the road as possible and not move from this spot until help is on its way.  If you have been travelling with pets, as long as the vehicle is in a safe spot and is not at risk of further damage (e.g. setting on fire or at risk of a collision) it is safest to keep any and all animals inside the vehicle. Ensure that they have enough water and air; keep the windows slightly ajar, however not enough for the animals to escape from the vehicle.   

Step 4 – Call for Breakdown Cover

  call-breakdown-cover   When you have ensured the safety of both the vehicle and every single one of its passengers, it will now be time to call for breakdown cover from your car insurance provider or breakdown cover partner such as the AA, Green Flag or RAC. Once notified, breakdown assistance will be on its way, so all that’s left to do is wait for roadside assistance. It is crucial to have this type of insurance in the event of a breakdown. Having breakdown cover will help you to get fast, efficient assistance for you, your passengers and your vehicle. Breaking down without this type of insurance can lead to severe delays in your journey, and mean that you and your passengers are potentially stuck in a dangerous situation for considerably longer than those insured. Additionally, those without breakdown cover will also most likely to pay higher charges from breakdown services. Even when applying for a breakdown provider’s instant cover, this typically comes at a considerably higher cost than the standard cost of breakdown cover.   

How Do You Apply for Breakdown Cover?

  breakdown-cover-apply   The two main types of breakdown cover are:   
  • Personal – this type of breakdown cover ensures that you are covered on any vehicle so long as it matches up to the basic requirements that have been established in the policy. Drivers with this insurance will be able to make a claim in whether a driver or a passenger during the breakdown. The policy may also cover everyone in your home, however this will vary dependent upon the specific policy chosen. 
  • Vehicle – this type of breakdown cover ensures that you are covered on one specific vehicle. This vehicle can vary, dependent on what policy you chose, and can normally be anything from a car, van or motor bike. Dependent upon what policy you chose, it may be possible to insure multiple vehicles through vehicle insurance, however this number will be limited.
  It is usually quick and simple to apply for breakdown cover and Forces Compare are here to help you. You can often get breakdown cover included as part of your insurance policy or pay a little extra on top. We can help you find the best rates and deals to your vehicle and those that belong to your loved ones. Compare car insurance today for a free and no obligation quote.