Breakdown Advice

If you do happen to break down part way through your journey, either at home in the UK or abroad in Europe, it can be a very stressful occasion. Thankfully, if you have Breakdown Cover in place, you can relax in the knowledge that you will not be stranded at the roadside.

Here at Compare Breakdown Cover we have put together some handy tips to keep you safe if you do break down:

Your Vehicle

  • Motorway breakdowns can be very hazardous. Always try to park the vehicle on the hard shoulder, as far left (or right, in Europe) away from the traffic as possible to reduce the risk of danger and injury from other motorists.

  • Use signals to warn other motorists that your vehicle has broken down. Make sure your hazard lights are switched on, and place a warning triangle behind the vehicle (except on motorways). You should also make sure that your handbrake is on, and in poor visibility, your rear fog lights too.

Yourself and Passengers

  • If at all possible, do not remain in your vehicle. Usually it is safer to stay on the passenger side of the vehicle, keeping the vehicle between you and the traffic. This reduces the risk of accident if someone were to accidently collide with your vehicle.

  • "If at all possible, do not remain in your vehicle"
  • It is a good idea to keep at least one fluorescent jacket in your vehicle in case of a breakdown. In the event of a breakdown, especially at night, this makes it much easier for other motorists to see you clearly.

  • If you are alone, it may be a good idea to leave one passenger door unlocked, enabling you to get back into the vehicle if you feel the need to.

  • Don’t try to make any repairs, no matter how simple you deem them to be. This can be highly dangerous and could result in an accident. Especially if you are alone, as it will distract you from passing traffic on the motorway.

  • Once your vehicle is mobile again, you will need to safely rejoin the traffic flow. On a motorway, build up your speed first on the hard shoulder, before carefully merging when a safe gap appears.

  • "Always check your vehicle before a long journey"
  • If you do start to have problems in your vehicle, always try, if possible, to approach a safer location such as a garage or service station before stopping and calling your assistance provider. If you feel safer stopping the vehicle immediately then do so, but make sure you are not obstructing the traffic flow.

  • Always check your vehicle before a long journey. If you are planning on travelling abroad to Europe then this is especially important. Make sure to perform all the usual safety checks, oil, water, tyres, fuel, and make sure everything is in good working order. This will help to reduce any chances of a breakdown, or flag up any potential problems that could arise during your trip.

Calling for Help

  • Make sure that once you have secured yours and your passenger’s safety, you call your assistance provider as soon as possible to start the recovery process. Provide information on your location as accurately as possible to help the operators get to you more swiftly. On motorways, you will usually find regular locations signs which should help a great deal in providing speedy assistance.

  • If you need to use an emergency phone to contact your provider, walk to the nearest one. Do not try to cross the road if you are on a motorway! The emergency phone will normally have a reference number as well, aiding the recovery agents to help locate you with ease.

Not sure who to call? Check our Make a Claim page for emergency contact details.

Why not have a read through our Claims Guide for more information on the claims process.