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What do I do if my car breaks down on the motorway?

Published date: 13 November 2012 |
Published by: Reporter
Read more articles by Reporter


Although having your car break down while you’re in transit is always a major inconvenience, it’s particularly awkward when it occurs on a motorway. Having so many vehicles whizzing past you at high speeds can make it difficult, not to mention unsafe, to stop and get out of your vehicle. Also, with little or nothing in the way of pedestrian facilities on the motorway, you have no choice but to stay with your vehicle and wait for the breakdown services to arrive.
 
The first thing you should do if something goes wrong with your car is to get it off the motorway and out of the path of traffic. Ideally you would be able to drive it onto a side road so that you can park somewhere safely, but if this is not an option you should at least try to pull over onto the hard shoulder as near to an emergency phone booth as possible.
 
Turn the wheels to the left (or the right if you are outside the UK) so that if the car rolls it will roll away from the traffic. Make sure all the passengers are safe, and don’t let children or pets out of the car unless there is a danger of the vehicle catching fire. Once you are off the main thoroughfare, exit the car by the left (or the right if you are outside the UK) so that you are away from traffic and make your way to the emergency phone booth.
 
If you are quite a distance from an emergency phone then you can call the police from your mobile phone, but using the emergency phone is actually better as it will enable them to pinpoint your location more accurately. Even if you think you can repair the vehicle yourself, it is unsafe to do so by a motorway.
 
When you talk to the police you should be sure to mention if you are in a vulnerable situation, such as if you’re a lone female, disabled, elderly or with children. Once you’ve placed the call, and the breakdown service is on the way, you should get back inside the car and wait. If this isn’t possible, you and your passengers should take cover behind a barrier or walk up on the embankment if there is one.
 
If you don’t have breakdown cover, then you will have to pay to get the breakdown services to come and fix or tow away your car. This is why most motorists opt to take add breakdown cover to their existing car insurance policy. This means that, in exchange for a small premium each year, you will be entitled to free assistance should your car break down while you are out on the road. 
 
Allianz Your Cover (www.yourcoverinsurance.co.uk) offer breakdown cover as an add-on which can be added to your current Allianz Your Cover car insurance policy at any time. The Your Cover Breakdown and Roadside Assistance option has three levels of cover to choose from: roadside breakdown, roadside breakdown and recovery including home assist and European breakdown and recovery including home assist.

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