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What to do in the event of a Breakdown

If a breakdown occurs on a motorway seek professional help and follow our motorway  (Tips and advice Article No 35)


  • If possible try to manoeuvre the car to a safe well lit busy area like a shopping centre or supermarket car park.
  • Apply your handbrake and switch on hazard lights.
  • Assess to see if your car is a hazard to other vehicles and if it is safe to get out of the car to investigate.
  • Before unlocking the doors and leaving the safety of your car, if you have a mobile phone ring a friend or family member to tell them what has happened and where you are.
  • If it is safe to do so, set out your safety warning triangle 45 metres behind your car.
  • If you do have a mobile phone, call your breakdown and recovery service. If you are a women tell them that you are a women driving alone. Most breakdown services give lone females priority. They are likely to ask for your membership details and an idea of what is wrong with your car, they will also want you to tell them your location.
  • If you do not have a mobile, you will have to assess and decide whether it is safe to use a public telephone. Aim to use a Shopping Centre, Supermarket or Petrol Station as they are usually busy and some have their own security guards. Return to your car and:
  • If the conditions are safe remain in your car with the doors and windows locked and your hazard warning lights on until help arrives. Sometimes it is a good idea to shift over to the passenger side as it gives the impression that you are not alone and the driver is about to return.
  • If possible when help does arrive telephone your family or friends to tell them who the breakdown recovery company is and an estimated time of repair. (Sometimes the major breakdown recovery services use contractors).
  • Always ask the driver for his identification which he should be more than willing to supply. It is common for passing police cars to check on cars that have broken down. You are within your rights to ask the police officer for his or her I.D especially if he or she is in an unmarked police car.

    What to do in the event of a Break Down

    Tips and Advice - Article No.36 RoadDriver 2010