Passing your test is the best feeling in the world, and after many months of driving lessons it’s like you’ve reached the light at the end of the tunnel. But getting onto the roads on your own isn’t the end of a journey- in fact, it’s just the beginning.
As a new driver you have so much to learn, so many situations, times of day, weather conditions and much more that you’ve not yet experienced. One thing that can be really terrifying for new drivers is breaking down- and while it’s not nice for anyone, it can feel even more daunting when you’ve never experienced it before.
Depending on where you break down, you can end up in an incredibly dangerous and vulnerable situation and so it’s worth knowing what to do if this happens to you. Read on to find out more.
Prevent breaking down in the first place
Of course, prevention is better than cure. Sometimes there will be no way around it, and you’ll break down even if you’ve meticulously cared for your car. However in many cases it can be prevented with a few simple checks.
The first, is as simple as fuel. Many drivers break down every day because they’ve ran out, as a new driver you might not know your car well and how much you can push it when it says it’s empty. Get into a good habit of topping up whenever it reaches a quarter of a tank.
Next, regular services are needed- these will ensure all of your fluids are topped up- plus the garage will spot any minor issues before they become larger ones. Regularly check things like your brakes and your tyres, you’ll have learned to do this as part of the driving test anyway.
Invest in breakdown cover
Another way to protect yourself ahead of time is by investing in breakdown cover. It’s only a small amount each month, and you have peace of mind if something goes wrong. In many cases a breakdown company will be able to fix issues at the side of the road to get you back on your way as quickly as possible.
Get out of your vehicle and go somewhere safe
If you break down and you’re in a vulnerable situation such as on a busy road or at a roundabout, you should get out of the car and get onto the street. Put on your hazard lights, and if it’s safe to do so then put a warning triangle at least forty five meters behind your broken down vehicle.
This can give cars a chance to slow down, move lanes and prevent them going into the back of you. If you’re obstructing traffic you will need to inform the police. Then, contact your breakdown company.
If you’re not signed up to a breakdown company, you have two options. You could search for towing services and have them come and recover you and take you to a garage of your choice. Otherwise, you could call a breakdown company and pay a premium for emergency pickup- along with a monthly plan to cover you going forward.
Don’t sit in your car if it’s broken down in a dangerous place
Have money saved for potential repairs
In some cases, your car won’t be a simple fix by the side of the road. If something serious has gone wrong it could cost you hundreds, have some money put away just in case so you can cover any repairs.
** This is a collaborative post