Ever broken down on the side of a motorway at night, in snow with crazy fast winds?
No neither have we but imagine for a second you had, most recovery companies take 30mins-2hours to get to you and then they’ve got to fix your car and in extreme traffic conditions people have had to sleep in their cars overnight (not fun when its -10c).
Make sure your car always has the following inside:
- Break down triangle – £4ish (don’t use on hard shoulder)
- First aid kit – £3 to £7
- A torch – £1 to £20 (or some glow sticks)
- A fire extinguisher (preferably not in boot) £8 to £15
- Emergency (space) blanket – £1 to £3
- Mobile phone charger – £5+
- Pen / Paper
- Reflective Jacket – £1-£5
- Bottle of water / Emergency food / Dried food – £3+
Optional extras which will save you looking like an idiot when the recovery truck or are just generally useful for your car:
- Tyre pump – £5 to £15
- Jump leads – £5 to £15
- Tow Rope – £5 to £15
- Car jack / Tools etc + knowing how to actually change a wheel!
- A snow shovel
- A jumper / coat etc
- A towel or picnic mat
- A change of clothes
- Umbrella (ideal for rain + sun)
- A window hammer + keep it in the front
- Walking boots / spare trainers (ideal if you often wear impractical shoes)
How will this save me money?
Putting out a break down triangle won’t make you look cool in front of your mates & it might cost you £3 but all of your mates would be more than willing to pay that if a 44 ton truck smashes into the back of the car & you’re 150 miles away from home.
Your insurance company will also be happy if you’ve not written your car off.
Other things to remember:
- Put your hazard lights on. Pull over to the left hand side of the carriage-way, as far possible to the left hand side of the hard shoulder and get out of the car, ensuring it’s safe to do so. Position yourself behind the safety barrier, away from the car, ideally positioned slightly further up the motorway towards where you drove from, this is in case someone was to hit your car then you wouldn’t be in the line of the travelling vehicle and debris etc. (If you’re anywhere else on the motorway when you break down then stay in your car and dial 999.)
- Those orange boxes/pillars you see along motorways are actually phones which ring the Highways Agency who have direct lines to all the breakdown services, emergency services etc and will be able to pinpoint your exact location. If you can find one of those try and stop near one. Failing that look out for signs and arrows on lamp posts, small white sticks or blue signs.
- Keep your hazards on and side lights on if possible.
- Leave animals in the vehicle or in an emergency, keep them under proper control on the verge
More info on what to do when you break down can be found on http://10ws.co/1Pb2lAs
Should I get breakdown cover?
The short answer is Yes.
The long answer is probably, unless you know lots about cars, have a mate that can pick the car up & you only drive within a 30 mile radius of your house then you probably don’t need it.
Often if you need your car moved off the motorway and can’t find a local company or don’t have breakdown cover you will be asked to pay £100-£200 for the safe removal (not to your destination).