Car Breakdown Information and Handy Tips

It is important to follow the basic health and safety rules of driving if your car breaks down. The following advice should be used, perhaps print it off and keep it in your car as the panic and stress of your car breaking down can often make you forget the basics.

Breaking down on a Motorway

If possible aim to leave the motorway or get to a service station although usually isn't possible. If you need to stop straight away pull over to the hard shoulder, try to get as close to an emergency motorway telephone. When you stop turn your wheels to the left, ensure your handbrake, hazard lights and sidelights are all on then leave the car. Exit your car on the side away from the oncoming traffic then walk as far away from the car and road as you can. Only remain in your car if you feel your safety is at risk by being outside.

If you do not have a mobile phone to contact the recovery service you can use an emergency telephone which are equally spaced on the motorway.

If it is not possible to get to the hard shoulder the pull over on the central reservation, in this instance it is important you call 999 to alert them of the issue and then call for recovery. Do not attempt to cross the motorway.

Breaking Down in a Free Recovery Area

In the event your car breaks down in one of the free recovery areas you can use the SOS telephones to phone for assistance which will be free of charge. There are markers around the free recovery zone pointing towards the nearest emergency phonewhich can pinpoint your exact location to the call handler and signs with the telephone number on if you are unable to reach the nearest phone. Once you are met by the free recovery team they will tow you out of the zone where you will need to contact your breakdown service.

Whenever you breakdown make sure you give the best possible description of your exact location, this will help the recovery service find you. Take into account any markers which are spaced one mile apart on the side of the road or sign posts which can help identify your location.

A Breakdown on Other Roads

A breakdown off the motorway may not lead to as much panic but can still be stressful. If it is safe enough you may be able to fix the problem by yourself. Try and pull your car over in a safe place which does not obstruct any traffic or cause any hazards, turn your hazard lights on so other vehicles can see you are not moving and so they slow down and pass carefully.

When you exit your car do so on the opposite side to the oncoming traffic and wear a reflective vest in order to raise awareness of your situation.

Helps to narrow down your search as some companies do not provide cover for older cars.

Cover for a named vehicle with anyone driving the vehicle covered.


Cover for a single person with every vehicle they are driving or a passenger in covered.


Cover for two people with every vehicle they are driving or a passenger in covered. Both people must live at the same address.


Cover for up to four people with every vehicle they are driving or a passenger in covered. Everyone must live at the same address.

Extends cover to also include breakdowns at your home.
Provides a replacement vehicle, overnight accommodation or alternative transport costs to your final destination if your car has to go into a garage to be repaired.
Provides cover to tow your vehicle to anywhere in the UK if it cannot be fixed at the point of breakdown.
Extends your UK breakdown cover to other European countries.
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