Breaking down abroad
European breakdown cover explained
Even if you have a breakdown cover policy in place, vehicle failures can still occur. This is not only an inconvenience, but can also be incredibly dangerous; particularly if you are on a busy carriageway or motorway.However, you can ensure the safety of yourself and of your passengers by taking note of MoneySupermarket.com’s breakdown tips:
These are potentially the most dangerous roads on which a breakdown can occur due to the amount of cars present and the speeds they attain.
Pulling over on the hard shoulder of a motorway is usually prohibited; except of course if your vehicle suffers a failure. If this is the case then you obviously have no other choice, and should follow the following five steps:
If you are unable to get to the hard shoulder, please bear in mind that you are in a very dangerous position and proceed with caution. Immediately switch on your hazard warning lights but do not attempt to place any warning instruments such as a warning triangle or cones on the road.
Only leave your vehicle if you believe that an opportunity to safely get clear of the carriageway/motorway presents itself. If you happen to have a disability preventing this, then remain in your vehicle with your hazard lights on. Either way, you should then phone emergency services and follow this up by contacting your breakdown cover provider.
You might not be in as much danger if you breakdown on quieter side roads; but breaking down anywhere is always potentially dangerous, particularly if you are obstructing other vehicles.
If this is the case, then follow these alternative five steps:
If you don’t have a breakdown cover policy in place when you experience a failure, then you have three possible options.
One option is to phone a local garage, who will normally charge a call out fee which is about £40. On top of this you will usually be charged about £1.50 for each mile you are towed. This can work out very expensive and can also be very troublesome, particularly if you are in an unknown location and unaware of the location of the nearest garage.
Breaking down on a motorway or carriageway is not only the most dangerous place to experience a failure, but can also work out as the most expensive as an alternative if you are unable to locate a local garage is to contact the highways agency rather than a breakdown cover provider, who will tow your vehicle to a local garage. The fees charged for this unplanned service have become an area of controversy having escalated significantly in recent years with fees of at least £105 to be expected.
Another option would be to join up to a breakdown cover provider on the spot. You would be charged an additional fee for this, usually between £65 and £90; but this would guarantee that you would be attended to like any other breakdown cover customer; having your vehicle either repaired at the side of the road or towed to a local garage. This is cheaper than the highways agency option and also ensures that you will be covered by the provider for the following 12 months. However, it would work out even cheaper if you plan ahead and arrange for an annual breakdown cover policy to be put in place before reliability issues rear their head.
Here at MoneySupermarket.com, we endeavour to find the cheapest breakdown cover policies available as we compare deals with some of the UK’s leading breakdown cover providers with deals available from as little as £28.
If you feel like being proactive and potentially save yourself money in the longer term; then feel free to take advantage of the MoneySupermarket.com breakdown cover comparison service today
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