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What to do if You Breakdown

By: Sally Aquire - Updated: 13 Nov 2014 | comments*Discuss
Breakdown Motorway Hard Shoulder Aa Rac

What are you supposed to do if you break down? Here is some advice on what to do when your car breaks down.

It's best to join the AA or RAC before you actually have a breakdown. Both organisations offer 24 hour breakdown service for every day of the year at affordable prices. They generally charge £65-90 for a full year's breakdown cover.

As well as the breakdown services, the police will remove your car for at least £105, and take you to a garage for £40 plus an extra £1.50 per mile you need to be towed.

Breaking Down on The Motorway

The motorway hard shoulder should be used purely for emergencies, rather than for using the toilet or checking a map. If you do encounter problems you should do the following:
  • Pull over on the hard shoulder as far to the left as possible. Your wheels should be turned left.
  • Stop near an emergency phone if possible. These can be found at intervals of about a mile along the hard shoulder.
  • Switch on your sidelights and hazard lights to warn other vehicles.
  • If you're forced to stop far away from an emergency telephone, make sure you know where you are - there are reference numbers on all emergency telephones and marker posts. Pass the reference number onto the breakdown company that you call.
  • Call a breakdown company. The AA`s breakdown number is 08457 887766 from a mobile or 0800 887766 from an emergency telephone.
  • Use the emergency telephone rather than a mobile to call for help. This will help a breakdown company to find you.
  • All passengers should exit the vehicle by the left-hand side to avoid other vehicles on the motorway.
  • Wear reflective jackets if you have them.
  • Make sure passengers, especially children, don't wander towards cars on the motorway.
  • Avoid trying to carry out any repairs. Leave this to an expert!
  • Wait on the far side of your car, away from the motorway. If you can climb partway up the bank, it would be a good idea to move as far away from the traffic as possible but still staying close to your car.
If you feel vulnerable standing on the hard shoulder, get back in your car via the left-hand side and lock the doors.

After the breakdown is fixed, increase your speed on the hard shoulder before re-entering the road.

If You Cannot Get onto The Hard Shoulder

  • Switch on your hazard lights to warn other drivers.
  • Only leave your car on the road when you can be sure it's safe for you to get to the hard shoulder.

Disabled Drivers

  • Don't leave your car.
  • Switch on your hazard lights.
  • Contact the emergency services using a mobile or car telephone.

Breaking Down on Other Roads

  • Get off the road as quickly as possible to avoid obstructing traffic.
  • Switch on your hazard lights to warn other drivers.
  • If you suspect there might be a danger of being hit by another vehicle, get yourself and other passengers out of the car and clear of the traffic.
  • Put up a warning triangle 45 metres behind your car if you have one. Remember to be cautious when doing this and don't attempt it if it isn't safe.
  • In poor weather, keep your sidelights on.
  • Avoid standing by your car next to the traffic - stand the other side.
  • Call a breakdown service from a mobile. The AA`s telephone number is listed earlier in the article.
Breaking down need not be a big disaster. Follow the advice above and you'll be on your way in no time.

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@Nor. This is always an unfortunate position for any driver to find themselves in, and must have been very frustrating for you. Many drivers aren't aware that if you do not have AA breakdown cover in place then it can cost up to six times more for basic one-off emergency assistance than an annual policy.Regarding the price of your phone call - I cannot see anywhere on the AA site about a higher rate cost of calls from mobiles, so perhaps that is something you might want to take up with the AA directly and ask them to list the costs from mobiles on their website. For future reference; if there is a convenient emergency telephone at the side of the motorway, then calls from these are free.
SaferMotoring - 1-Oct-14 @ 1:50 PM
Called the aa on 08457 887766 from Virgin mobile for help with tow . The phone call cost £13 and they quoted £145 tow to nearest garage, real expensive call. Local garage direct lifted for £65. Aa not so public friendly as they make out
Nor - 1-Oct-14 @ 8:00 AM
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