What to Do If Your Car Breaks Down

If your vehicle breaks down on the road can be stressful and scary. However, knowing what to do, can help you stay safe while you get help. Here are things that you need to do if your car breaks down.

The best way to avoid a vehicle breakdown is to ensure that your car is well maintained through regular servicing. You should also check other things like oil a and your tyres.

What To Do When Your Car Breaks Down

What you are required to do depends on the location where your car broke down:

On a motorway

You must make use of a warning triangle on the motorway hard shoulder.

  1. Turn your hazard lights on and move your vehicle off the road: Look for somewhere that is away from traffic to pull over and park your car.
  2. Go out of your car safely: Get passengers out of the vehicle using the doors that are facing away from incoming traffic and look for a safe place to wait.
  3. Make use of your warning triangle: If you own one, place a warning triangle at least 45 meters behind your car to alert other road users.
  4. Communicate with your breakdown provider: If your vehicle is interfering with traffic, call the police first who can assist to divert traffic.

If you locate a safe place to settle away from traffic you can attempt to repair the problem yourself. If you are not sure regarding what the problem is, you should wait for professional help.

What you are required to inform your breakdown provider

Store your breakdown cover membership card in your vehicle, because It will contain your membership number and the contact information that you need to request for assistance.

When you call, you will be inquired for the following details:

  • Your name and your breakdown membership number
  • Your location
  • You contact details
  • The cause of the car breakdown

How Long It Takes For Assistance To Arrive

This will depend on your provider and if your breakdown is considered as a priority. Most try to reach you within 45 minutes.

Where you are towed to will depend on the level of breakdown cover you own:

  • Roadside assistance: Your car will be towed to the nearest garage to your location
  • Vehicle recovery: You can opt to be towed to any location in the United Kingdom

If your policy contains onward travel cover, your provider can offer you a hire car, or pay for the emergency hotel accommodation costs if you are stuck far away from home.

  • Talk to a local garage, who may be able to come out and tow your vehicle back to their place. However, they could charge you for this.
  • Make use of an emergency telephone to ask for assistance if your vehicle has broken down along a motorway, and get towed to the adjacent garage. This can cost you more than £100.
  • Obtain a policy after you have broken down. Most companies allow you to do this and then come out to assist you. However, you will be charged a one-off payment of up to £90.

How to Insure Yourself to Drive a Car That Is Owned by Someone Else

You will still need cover in place if you wish to drive someone else’s car. Here are the ways on how to make sure that sure you are insured to drive a car that is owned by someone else.

Ways To Drive A Car You Do Not Own

You can get a cover to drive someone else’s car by:

  • Obtaining your own car insurance policy for the vehicle
  • Availing a short term car insurance for the duration that you want to drive the car
  • Being included as a named driver on the policy of the owner
  • Verifying if your own car insurance policy (if you possess one) covers you to drive other cars

Can You Insure A Car That You Do Not Own?

Yes. However, you will have to inform the insurer that you are not the registered keeper or the owner when you apply.

A number of insurers will only propose you cover the principal driver if you are also the registered keeper of the vehicle. Numerous companies will want to insure you, so shop around and examine the policy documents before applying.

Will The Owner Always Be The Registered Keeper?

No, the person named on the registration certificate (DVLA V5C) is the registered keeper; this does not have to be the person who purchased and paid for the car.

For example, if you are driving a company car, you may be recorded as the registered keeper because you are the person that is using and looking after the vehicle although the company that you are working for is actually the owner of the car.

What Cover Can You Get?

Most insurers will not limit the level of cover you can get so that you can choose between a third party fire and theft policy and a fully comprehensive policy.

You may also be able to avail a third party only cover. However, not all insurers offer this. This particular guide will aid you in deciding which cover is the best for you.

How To Insure A Car You Do Not Own

When applying for a cover, you will normally be asked to confirm who the registered keeper and the owner of the car is. Some insurers will offer only to cover you to drive a vehicle that you do not own if it belongs to:

  • A parent
  • A leasing company
  • You employer
  • Your partner, spouse, or civil partner

If you are not asked, scrutinize the terms before you avail the policy. Most insurers will usually assume that the vehicle belongs to you or a person included on the above list. If you have a different case, your cover will not be valid, and any claim could be declined.

READ: No Claims Bonus: Save on Your Insurance

How Much Does It Cost?

It can cost you a lot more to get cover for a car that you do not own since insurers may regard you as a higher risk, especially if you are a young driver.

If you do not have a financial interest in the car, some insurance companies assume that you will take less care driving the vehicle, and therefore be more prone to make a claim.

It is worth shopping around and getting quotations from various insurers, as some companies will not change their price based on the owner of the vehicle.


Other Ways To Get Cover

If you cannot get cover for a car you do not own you could:

  • Be the registered keeper of the car: If you wish to be the primary driver of the car, you can amend the V5C registration document to present yourself as the vehicle’s keeper. The present registered keeper is required to request for this change. Instructions can be found on this GOV.UK website.
  • Be included as a named driver: You can drive a car that is owned by someone else id they include you to their policy as a named driver.
  • Avail a short-term policy: If you only need to drive someone else’s vehicle for a short period, a short-term policy could be the answer.

Verify If You Have Cover To Drive Other Cars

If you already own a fully comprehensive policy, you may be covered to drive a car you owned by other people.

Cover to drive other cars is sometimes incorporated in comprehensive policies, but not all, so scrutinise your paperwork carefully before you drive someone else’s car.

This type of insurance will only give you basic third party cover and is often only available if:

  • You have not hired the car
  • You are over a particular age, often 25 years old
  • You do are not the owner of the car

This type of cover is only created to be used during emergencies and not for regular driving. If you are not certain as to what is considered as an emergency, contact your insurer and ask them before you drive.