Your breakdown guide for the winter

How to prepare for a car breakdown
The cold and rain of autumn and winter can have a serious effect on a car’s health, increasing your chances of  having your car break down, leaving you exposed to harsher conditions – so it’s important that you drive prepared.

To help you stay as safe and prepared as possible, we’ve drawn up a winter driving checklist of all the essential items you need in the event of your car breaking down this winter.

Winter driving essential items

  • Ice scraper & de-icer
  • Fully charged mobile phone/ in-car charger/ portable battery charger
  • Warm clothing and blankets
  • Tow rope
  • Sturdy boots in case you have to walk anywhere
  • Emergency warning triangle
  • Snow shovel
  • Hi-vis clothing
  • Jump leads
  • First aid kit
  • Torch
  • Snow chains or snow socks for your tyres – practice fitting these in advance
  • De-icing salt
  • Food – high-energy cereal bars are a good choice
  • Spare car bulbs
  • Tyre inflator in case of a puncture

It may look like a lot but you can get some great bargains on a winter essentials kit at stores like Halfords, saving you the time and hassle of having to source all the different items.

Now that you know all the essentials you should keep in your car, it’s time to let you know what should you do in the event of a breakdown…

1. Get to a safe place

If at all possible, move your vehicle off the road away from the traffic, and turn off the engine. If you’re on a motorway, leave at the next exit if you can. Otherwise, pull on to the hard shoulder or into a lay-by.

2. Be visible

Turn on the car’s hazard warning lights, and keep the sidelights on if it’s dark or foggy. Wear a high-vis jacket when you get out of the vehicle.

If you have a warning triangle, place it at least 50 metres behind your car on the same side of the road. But don’t use warning triangles on motorway hard shoulders – it’s not safe.

3. Leave your vehicle

It’s Great Britain so the weather is likely to be bad, but unfortunately it’s too risky to stay in the warm of your car, so you’ll need to get out of your car and off the road to avoid the danger of being hit by other traffic. Leave on the left-hand side and head for safety, on to a grass verge or bank if you can.

4. Call for help

As you’ve got breakdown cover included in your cover with us, you just need to give Call Assist a call on 0333 043 2005. Give them as much detail as you can and they’ll be with you as soon as possible.

5. Leave the car alone

If you’re tempted to return to the car to try and get it started again while you’re waiting for help – don’t! It simply isn’t worth the risk, and you’ll only complicate things for the experts who are on their way to help you.

Above all, stay calm and stay safe. Breakdowns are an annoyance, but they’re not the end of the world. Be patient and help will come.

Worried about driving this winter? Don’t worry, we’ve got a handy little winter driving guide for you to help calm your fears.

1 Comment

  1. james sommerville says:

    mot is a money making machine for garages they put price up for test every year find more things to fail car on so they canget the job of repairing car they make money owner out of pocket big time

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